So I wanted to ask if anyone else has a jukebox in their head during shikantaza besides me.
I have Google-searched this phenomenon and read numerous meditation primers from several schools but the advice is sparse.
In fact, it surprises me because it seems to me that this would be a relatively common event.
In my own experience, attempting to drive the music out of my head only works temporarily and then it comes back with a vengeance.
Trying to focus on actual, real-time, current auditory sensations helps (like hearing the AC turning on, a car passing by, etc.), but unless you meditate near a freeway, there will be periods of silence (during which the melodies return).
In fact, that's kind of the point, isn't it; to find a quiet place to sit zazen??
So using real sounds to fight "mind sounds" has limited value for me.
Anyway, when I just leave it alone, as I enter a deeper phase of samhadi the music eventually goes away but this is only accomplished after using focused concentration efforts (such as following the breath) which I know is antithetical to the technique of shikantaza.
As a consequence I tend to initiate my meditation sessions first with a brief metta meditation just to "set the mood", then following the breath to reach a state of "one-pointed" concentration, then, eventually, quieting of the mind and expansion of awareness/presence into a more typical shikantaza style of zazen.
At this level I simply focus on posture as per Nishijima Roshi's instructions in "To Meet the Real Dragon". It takes me on average about 20 minutes to reach this point and then I can "ride the wave" for the rest of my session.
But the bottom line is that (for me) just "taking the plunge" into real-time awareness right from the start results in sloppy focus, continuous brain chatter and, of course, that damn music.
(Actually it's not so bad if it's Enya or James Taylor but if I get Ronnie James Dio screaming "The mob ruuuulles!" over and over it's a bit hard to take...)
So I'm curious to ask others here at Treeleaf if about their experiences and what methods and means they employ or recommend!
(I apologize if this topic has been addressed elsewhere; I'm new 'round here!)