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Thread: ears ringing

  1. #1

    ears ringing

    I've noticed while sitting that my ears ring loudly--maybe just in relation to the quietness of the zazen. I'm partially hard of hearing, and usually try to sit in the morning without my hearing aids--I don't like the artificial amplification any more than necessary (like for meetings I need it). During the day, of course, I have them during the 'insta-zazen' moments.

    It's not a big deal, or too much of a distraction, but I just wondered if it happened to anyone else.

    G, Ann

  2. #2

    Re: ears ringing

    Hi, Ann.

    My ears, my right in particular, ring all the time. Not loudly, but when I'm in a quiet room I can hear them. Mine is due, I imagine, to years of playing rock and jazz gigs without proper hearing protection. I wear earplugs now on just about every gig, but the stuff like tinnitus doesn't just go away.
    Doesn't bother me when I sit, but I do notice it.


  3. #3

  4. #4

    Re: ears ringing


    It is common to notice ringing, spots in the vision, and the like during Zazen. They are usually there before that and all the time but, because of the silence and sensory deprivation, become noticed during quiet sitting.

    Gassho, J

  5. #5

    Re: ears ringing

    Hi Ann, I am a new member who has not yet introduced myself, so forgive my "stepping in" before I did so.
    I notice everything more since beginning practice. The pain in my knee, the buzz of the light bulb and my own breath sounds. I also notice more in life off the cushion which has ultimately proven to be invaluable though not always invited, especially when it is something I have identified as unpleasant or worse!! Thanks to the other respondents for giving the ringing phenomenon a name. I find that my own sensory observations are sometimes interesting, sometimes annoying but always present. Being present to them seems to be the work we have elected in sitting. With gratitude for being alive and sensing all that is, Diana

  6. #6

    Re: ears ringing

    Thank you, Jundo, for mentioning the spots in the vision! My eyesight is bad, and on some days the spots try to get to the center of my attention. I know they must have something to do with sensory deprivation, and the white wall. (The spots also bother me on bright, snowy winter days. For some reason I thought I was the only one that sees those cursed spots!) ("Cursed" comes from Shakespeare, it wasn't me!)

  7. #7

    Re: ears ringing

    I wonder if the "ringing" isn't something else...

    If you are in a quiet room and pay attention, you can usually hear a faint humming or ringing sensation coming from inside your head. I have been told this sound is the sound of blood being pumped through your head. There is another type of meditation that I used to do many years ago that involves focusing all your attention on this sound. With practice, I was able to make this faint sound a loud roar.

  8. #8

    Re: ears ringing

    Do you sit with your internet on? My router makes a buzzing sound exactly like my Tinitus! So it could be that too.

    I like to think of my Tinitus as a super power. Like some of the previous comments - through Zazen you start to pick up on things you hadn't noticed before. My super power is being able to hear the mechanics of my own ear!
    It wouldn't make much of a movie, but it helps just the same :-)

  9. #9

    Re: ears ringing

    I never knew that I had Tinitus untill I started sitting zazen. I thought at first that I must be hearing the electricity in my own nervous system, but no. It is just the damage I did to myself playing a les paul guitar through a marshall half amplifier stack during the 80's... silly me!

  10. #10

    Re: ears ringing

    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesC
    . It seems that it is partly a psychological condition involving positive feedback of awareness of the perceived sound.
    It is not psychological, it is either neurological or it is related to your hearing system.


  11. #11

    Re: ears ringing

    Thanks to all for the input and validation! In my case, I'm pretty sure the tinnitus is related to my hearing loss, and I also have it throughout the day. It just usually recedes to unawareness, until I sit, then it comes back to the forefront when the competing aspects of the mind are diminished! The first couple of hours in the day are the worst for noticing it, when I have dual tones in a major third or perfect fifth interval! I come from a symphonic background (cello, then folk music on fiddle)--but since it's genetic loss for me I'm not sure if the symphony contributed or not.

    I like to hear what people notice outside during zazen that is new to them at that time--you know, the nature sounds, etc. During summer months the most dramatic thing for me is at night I absolutely cannot hear the cicadas or crickets, or even birds, until I use the electric ears. But the tinnitus--it's there. Just, like I said, not noticed much until I sit. I guess it bothered me more than usual yesterday, which triggered the question. thanks again, Ann

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