ears ringing

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  • chessie
    Member
    • Jun 2008
    • 266

    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
  • Eika
    Member
    • Sep 2007
    • 806

    #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.

    Bill
    [size=150:m8cet5u6]??[/size:m8cet5u6] We are involved in a life that passes understanding and our highest business is our daily life---John Cage

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    • CharlesC
      Member
      • May 2008
      • 83

      #3
      Re: ears ringing

      .

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      • Jundo
        Treeleaf Founder and Priest
        • Apr 2006
        • 39392

        #4
        Re: ears ringing

        Hi,

        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
        ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

        Comment

        • sdmindfulness

          #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

          Comment

          • paivi
            Member
            • Jun 2008
            • 15

            #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!)

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            • Mushin
              Member
              • Jul 2008
              • 40

              #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.

              Comment

              • undeceivable
                Member
                • May 2008
                • 35

                #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 :-)
                [color=#4080FF:avauok9l][size=80:avauok9l]"Do not be deceived"[/size:avauok9l][/color:avauok9l]

                Comment

                • Rinsen

                  #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!

                  Comment

                  • Ryumon
                    Member
                    • Apr 2007
                    • 1701

                    #10
                    Re: ears ringing

                    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.

                    Kirk
                    ---
                    Ryūmon (Kirk)
                    流文

                    SAT/LAH

                    I know nothing.

                    Comment

                    • chessie
                      Member
                      • Jun 2008
                      • 266

                      #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

                      Comment

                      • Ugrok
                        Member
                        • Sep 2014
                        • 323

                        #12
                        Hello !

                        Glad to see i'm not alone. I have tinnitus too, and the very strange thing is that it comes and goes, even during zazen. During zazen sometimes it gets really loud, and sometimes it disappears completely. I also first noticed it a few years ago during zazen.

                        It's also, for me at least, linked to stress and anxiety. For example when i'm in a rush and under a lot of pressure, as was the case recently, i don't hear it cause i just run around and do stuff. Now that i'm back to a calmer place, wham, it comes back with a vengeance.

                        I don't know how you guys deal with that. Trying not to pay attention does not really work (like trying not to think about a pink elephant). Paying full attention makes it louder. So i just let it be, and when i hear it, i hear it, and when i don't, i don't. The problem seems to be when you begin to associate negative feelings to it, and wanting to get rid of it, which is easy to do when you are under stress -> so it leads to more stress, and more tinnitus, and more stress... The more you want to get rid of it, the more it rings. Zazen helps cause there is peace in this moment, tinnitus or not.

                        I also found during zazen that i could also send love to it. It's not an enemy, it's your body doing what it should do given the circumstances. So don't hate it, love it ? Easier said than done.

                        I know there are a lot of theories about tinnitus, all very interesting. Most common, classic one is that it is damage to the inner ear cells. The most recent ones tend to see it as a combination of neurological and psychological effect (i find this much interesting) : your hearing system automatically selects which noises are important for survival, and it does so according to your limbic (emotional system). So if you fear a sound in particular, your auditory system will select it more and more in the mass of ambient sounds, to make you aware of it, again for survival purposes. So the more you fear the tinnitus, the more you hear it : just your system doing it's job of keeping you alive at all cost. This is also a model of thinking that explains most of anxiety symptoms and their durability.

                        There have been experiments that showed that 90% of the population, put in a soundproof room, would hear whistling, buzzing, etc. The difference between a tinnitus sufferer and someone who does not suffer is not in the noise they hear : it's in their relationship to that noise ! So very buddhist teaching here !

                        There is also a more psychoanalytical theory, which is that tinnitus is used by your mindbody system as a distraction from difficult thoughts or problems in your life that you refuse to face head on, for example ; the child in you (id) wanting to do and think stuff that your social persona (ego) cannot accept, or simply being really annoyed by some strong life changes.

                        I guess the truth lies at the crossroads between all these approaches, which are not incompatible...

                        Would love to have your thoughts on this and how you deal with it !

                        Gassho,

                        Uggy,

                        Sat today in a crowded FSR, with nice people, a hangover, and Tin Nitus.
                        Last edited by Ugrok; 09-29-2017, 08:10 AM.

                        Comment

                        • Eishuu

                          #13
                          Hi Uggy,

                          Not sure I can be much help. It sounds like you have a good approach to it and an awareness of how pushing it away can set up a negative spiral whereby it gets worse.

                          I also have tinnitus. Sometimes I don't notice it for ages, and then other times, like after reading your post this morning, I notice it and it seems louder. For me I think there is damage to the ear (mine was originally much louder and had a medical cause, but was left for so long before anyone took me seriously that now I have constant mild tinnitus).

                          The only thing I would say is that as well as not pushing the tinnitus away, maybe also try not to push your emotional response to it away...so if annoyance comes up, stress, whatever, just let that be there too - the more you react to stress the worse it gets. So just be there with the ringing, the annoyance about the ringing, and include it all. I think sending love to it is a good idea. It's so much not about the thing, but about your reaction to the thing, if you know what I mean. I find the same when dealing with pain.

                          I'm personally not keen on the purely psychological explanations for illnesses. Yes, in some cases maybe they are right, and often there may be a psychological component to illness whether causative or a symptom, but I think you have to be really really careful not to just blame someone who is already suffering when actually it doesn't help because the illness really is physical and there is nothing they can do.

                          Just some ideas...don't know if it's helpful.

                          May you make friends with the ringing.

                          Gassho
                          Lucy
                          ST/LAH

                          Comment

                          • Ugrok
                            Member
                            • Sep 2014
                            • 323

                            #14
                            Thanks for the wise words (and sorry about the tinnitus reminder) !

                            I do believe that body and mind are one, so i'm not separating one from the other. There are a whole lot of psychosomatic disorders that are real physical, painful stuff happening because of emotional turmoil (i've been through a lot of those things myself hahaha)...

                            Not saying it's always the case, nor that one should always assume that it is, but i find it an interesting approach, because it makes it possible to act and work with the psychological stuff and have a healing effect on the body too. The problem is, of course and as you said, when people use this approach to deny the seriousness of the suffering of someone and make them feel guilty, just because they equal "psychological" with "it's in his head and he should stop acting like a child". This is totally a wrong way of seeing this, of course.

                            Gassho,

                            Sat today (with you and toby i believe !)

                            Uggy

                            Comment

                            • Jishin
                              Member
                              • Oct 2012
                              • 4820

                              #15
                              Hi Uggy,

                              You have tinnitus and this is wonderful! Instead of attaching Shikantaza to posture, breathing or spacious awareness you can anchor to tinnitus. I am very lucky like you as I have back pain and tend to anchor Shizantaza to posture.

                              Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

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