One of the challenges I have noticed with meditation can be the noise that surrounds us. While I know that it is possible to be peacefully in presence of God amidst any amount of noise or in any circumstance if the Holy Spirit so desires it, I also know that sometimes the noise can make it harder to concentrate. Some days are better than others when it comes to blocking out the noise. This has to do with a) the amount and type of noise in our environment and b) what is going on inside of us. This means that what I am about to suggest doesn’t need to be a daily practice, you may never need it, or you may find it helpful all the time, I use it sometimes. 

When there is too much noise either inside or outside as I sit to meditate, I like to open a Spotify playlist of Gregorian Chanting. It sounds silly like wearing a beret and sitting in a café in order to read Sartre, but Gregorian Chanting flat out sounds HOLY. This is in part because it is prayer, in part because it has been practiced by monks for centuries, partly because the words are often fundamentally christian in nature, and also because thanks to movies and whatnot we associate the chanting with matters holy. 

The biggest reason I appreciate Gregorian chanting is that I have managed to remain mostly, willfully, ignorant about it. I don’t know who is singing or where they are. I do not know the language they are chanting in, and only rarely recognize a single word of what they are praying. This means the chanting is like a Holy white noise that can set a tone or mood but otherwise be ignored. It doesn’t break into my thoughts, it doesn’t distract, it merely serves as an aid. 

If you are like me then you might find this helpful at least some of the time. I suggest giving it a try to test it out.

Maranatha!

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