Mindfulness of Sound

Here's a fun technique to use.  Instead of paying attention to the breath, pay attention to the sounds of the outside environment. The fun and tricky part, however, is to hear the sound for just the quality of the sound, not what made it or where it came from.  For example, a motorcycle has a distinctive sound. Attempt to experience the sound without thinking, "That's a motorcycle."  Instead, just hear the sound.  The same goes for dogs barking, kids playing, sirens wailing, or just anything, really.  One of the beautiful things this did for me was to separate sounds from what made them in my own mind, and to allow me to gain a more expansive view.  This technique can be used for all--or--just part of a sitting.