One way to focus on sound is to open awareness to the world around you. And as we know, it often has plenty of sound to offer — a fact that can add to the challenge of using sound as a calming focal point! Still, that is really the point: it is very often not our circumstances that determine our outcomes so much as it is what we DO with those circumstances! So, when working with sound (or any other sensory input) in the context of mindfulness and concentration, the practice to witness the sound and let go of any judgments or preferences related to the sound. Admittedly, this is sometimes easier said than done, which is why it is often most productive to begin by focusing on “easier” sounds (perhaps breath, or birdsong, or quiet music). Once we begin to feel successful working with relaxing sounds, we can then shift to more challenging opportunities (such as chaotic play, street sounds, or annoying chatter). This week, revisit your relationship with relaxing sounds. Begin with ocean sounding breath, and then move to other relaxing sounds. Witness your responses (physical, emotional, etc) and notice any attachment or aversion.