Tinnitus and dhikr

Tinnitus is very frustrating and aggravating. Someone shared an article on /r/tinnitus about how mindful meditation can help reduce tinnitus problems. The explanation it offers about learning to separate one’s tinnitus and one’s reaction to it, and how meditation helps in this regard got me thinking about how my tinnitus tends to be less problematic after dhikr.

From the article:

We have a limited amount of attention. Meditation enables us to realize that only a single object can be held in attention at any given moment. The felt experience of concentrating on multiple objects simultaneously is, in actuality, attention that is rapidly, and imperceptibly, shifting.


Absent any emotional reaction or frustration, the subjective nature of tinnitus is simply ringing and nothing else. It is difficult to tease apart the sound from the accompanying discomfort but as a matter of experience it is possible. What is important to grasp is that it is not the noise itself that is the problem but rather one’s reaction to it. If you suffer from tinnitus, take a moment to draw your attention to the sound. What is the experience like? There is ringing and then what? If your experience is like mine it is something like the noticing of the sound followed by a cascade of neurotic thoughts and negative emotion. These are, in fact, two separate events. It is possible to realize that the sound exists independently of any reaction to it. A clearer understanding and observation of this mental phenomenon through meditation allows one to stand at a sort of crossroads in the mind. At this intersection one is able to notice, with neutral awareness, that the sound itself is separate from the emotions that typically follow its observation. After a momentary acknowledgment, one is then able to choose to let these emotions go instead of following them.

If you suffer from tinnitus, perhaps you will find that a few minutes of repeating a short formula just loud enough to hear while paying attention the words and your exhalation gives you a little bit of peace. If it doesn’t, it’s still rewardable as making dhikr with presence of mind and seeking health through Him.

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