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Real Happiness Challenge - Week 1: A Round of Sound

I can't force myself to fall in love with a piece of music, but I can force myself to hate it. To do that, all I have to do is make it my morning alarm.
 
However lovely or innocent it may be, after two weeks of that, I will associate that piece of music with forcing myself out of bed, into a day of work that I have technically chosen for myself but resent all the same.
 
It's not the sounds themselves that vex us, but the stories we tell ourselves about them. Through hearing or sound meditation, we can learn to peacefully coexist again with that series of blips and bloops.
 
When engaging in hearing meditation, you can stick to whale sounds and sitars, if you insist, but you're missing out. Sound meditation is more useful when it's about noticing sirens, the hoots of drunken strangers, or the drip from a leaky faucet.
 
Acknowledge those sounds. Appreciate them for what they are. You may notice that, as you hear the rhythmic dripping, your mind is using those sounds to pull you into a narrative about your parents or your plumber. That's the sort of thing the mind has evolved to do. Thank it for doing its job. Then let those thoughts pass away, the same way the sound of the drip itself rises, changes, and passes away.
 
When you are done with your practice, get up and fix your faucet. After that, you may sleep better, and you may not hate your alarm as much.
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