How detrimental are noises in meditation? I don't live alone and the people I live with often watch TV or make noise in other ways. Should I seek somewhere peaceful to meditate or is there a way to deal with the noise otherwise?

5 Answers 5


Noise is not necessarily a bad thing; some people choose to meditate with their eyes open, it allows them to enter a meditative state without relying on reduced vision. People also do walking meditation where there is a lot more touch involved and this can be a help in bringing meditation into daily living.

Of course there are still a lot of people who seek out quiet places where they can sit still with their eyes closed. You have to find what's right for you.

The trick to dealing with distractions is to not see the distraction as a problem, don't become averse to the distraction because the only real problem is your reaction to the distraction.


It's best to find a quiet place where you can meditate and get as comfortable as possible, it's easier to find peace when there are fewer external factors involved but that's not always possible. The whole idea of meditation is to let go, the noise will always be there and you should just let it be. If it does annoy or disturb you in any way, try to welcome this feeling and ask yourself why are you feeling this way. For someone who is new to meditation, noise can be pretty hard to ignore and you should not struggle to ignore it, over time it will lose its power.

You can also play some environmental music on your headphones such as nature sounds or binaural beats while you are meditating. What's important is that you stick to your meditation routine and not use the noise as an excuse not to meditate.

I often find noise quite helpful, because noise makes you fell a certain way and then you have another feeling that you can simply feel.


In Kantaka Sutta, Buddha used "thorn" instead of detrimental.

"...To one in the first jhana, sounds are a thorn. To one in the second jhana, thinking and examining are a thorn. ..."

if noise perception (sanna in noise) or recognizing that noise has occurred, best to let go of it as fast as you can and go back to perception of breathing. Don't latch on to it.

Kantaka Sutta


I tried to accept the noise as it is. But in my case it often goes beyond 50 dB which is typically what a normal human physiology can tolerate. I do not struggle with my mind which keeps remembering that the nois is indeed beyond normal physiological tolerance levels. I go elsewhere.


Get soundproof headphones. Unless you are a very experienced meditator, I find too much noise will just end up frustrating you.

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