In the Midst of Noise-Hell

Right now I am experiencing intense anger because my flat-mates are barraging me with almost unbearable noise pollution. One of them seems to be absolutely welded to his phone as it does not leave the festering side of his ear as he blabbers away endlessly and pointlessly talking about what this guy did and what that girl said and what she should have said and what they should done. I guess he is afraid of too much silence or just loves the sound of his own voice as he never stops chattering and his barrage of utter stupidity never ceases its relentless drumming and drilling through the bone of my skull until it begins to gnaw at the very fabric of my soul. I search and I search for a skillful way to deal with this but it reaches an absolute climax where my anger just consumes me and I feel ready to just boil away off into another hell infinitely more horrible than this one. My heart rate begins to intensify and blood begins to feel hot in my veins so that I am scared my blood vessels will positively explode leaving me in a pile of my own steaming bleeding and rancid flesh. As for my other flat-mate, well this guy seems to be either truly deaf or truly distracted. His room continually sends waves of deep rumbling and thumping music, and many times as I walk in I find him absorbed in some other random task and not even listening to it, or not even in the room. While I rot away in this hell of vibrations he simply likes to have background music blasting away shaking the walls of his room and the shrinking the boundaries of my sanity. Perhaps his own inner tyrant screams perpetually at him with an ear-splitting pitch that he needs this background cacophony to drown his sorrows away. Perhaps it is similar to the unnerving inability of my parents, or in fact anybody, to sit still in complete silence for any stretch of time. Why is it that people are so scared of silence? Why is it that they flee so miserably and disgustingly from the serenity and tranquility of no-sound? Why do they fill their available space, both inner and outer, with hour after hour, day after day, and lifetime after lifetime, of meaningless pointless and uninteresting noise? This is an arena of my life that I still find extreme difficulties with. What is in my power to do now? I could go tell both of them to keep quiet and in so doing deprive them of their wretched and petty little background distraction. Perhaps they enjoy this noise because it postpones any serious examination of the important issues in life, primarily: suffering. This is their escape from their suffering and it is pitiful. But perhaps it brings them comfort and who am I to deny them this base and unskillful comfort. This is my dilemma: I could ask them to keep it down and in the process perhaps reduce a little bit their comfort levels, or I could learn to deal with this barrage in a more skillful way than I am doing right now. It is obvious which is the right way to act, but it is just so unimaginable for me that there could be a way for anyone to live with this. Actually, perhaps therein lies the whole problem: my inability to imagine a way for me to accept this noise with equanimity and simplicity and without stirring up the mind and getting caught up in needless and harmful anger. Also, my aversion to these noises can be dealt with by applying the understanding of the impermanence of all conditioned phenomena. My distressed and disturbed state of mind, like all phenomena, and like the noise pollution I am subjected to at the moment, is a conditioned phenomenon and so will invariably cease and another will arise to take its place. This is the self-perpetuating mental dance of mind-states which arise and cease in a strange yet synchronized melody, the composer of which is the law of karma itself. It is my past karma which puts me it the situations in which I find myself today, and my actions today which determine my future karma, and in turn my future situations. Actually, now that I think about it, it is not the karmic law which determines my mind-states, but it is my own ignorance and wrong intentions and wrong views which do so. So this is why I am trapped in this anger; it is because I fail to realize that I have a choice in the moods and mind-states that I experience in the present moment and that by skillful means I can take a step back and watch the mind from an observant and unattached angle in order to allow the unskillful to pass away and the skillful to arise. I must apply skillful thoughts and skillful evaluation and must apply right effort in order to determine which is which – which needs to be abandoned and which needs to be cultivated. So this is the way to tackle this problem which at first seemed unmanageable but now seems actually quite minor. This is all a problem of the mind not relating to its situations in the correct manner, and perhaps the most powerful of all solutions to these conundrums is the simple mantra: REMEMBER LOVE

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