I played music on the stereo, and my brother came – quite annoyed – and asked me to turn it off. He was just learning to meditate and experienced the music as very distracting.
I said “show me where your mind ends and the music begins, and I will turn it off”.
The distraction is all in the mind, created from a belief in the thought “I” – which sets up a very convincing experience of I and other, and the possibility of being distracted. The music in itself is not an “other”, no more than his human self and/or formless awareness is an “I”.
When there is the dynamic of I and other, there is a clash of two or more objects. When there is not, there is just what is, as it is – and there is clarity and freedom from struggle.
This is what he did not see, and what the music gave him the opportunity to see.
So the question is of course, what is the disturbance in my life? What do I see as “other” right now?
And the answer is quite clear: thoughts of lost opportunities, of not being where I should/could have been in life, of where to go from here, and so on. All these stories which confuse more than clarify. These are the distracting music in my own life.
I also woke up seeing clearly how Joan Tollifson, in her book Bare Bones Mediation, creates a whole fog of stories which is on top of the simplicity of immediate experience. And of course, that is what the whole book is about – waking up from the stories of my life. (I tremendously enjoy reading it.)