Since then I have listened and that sound is there all the time. It sounds like an airplane flying overhead, or a generator running in the distance.
At first it was mainly in my left ear (where I have heard the tinkling nada in the past). I would hear it when I lay down to sleep, "through" my earplugs. I would take the earplugs out and it would still be there.
Note: I always go to sleep (and sleep most or all of the night) on my right side, which means my right ear is more protected from sounds.
I think the first time I noticed the sound was the time I heard the divine tinkling nada in my left ear, and then the humming was there in the left ear after it. Since it was introduced by nada, in the ear I hear nada (left), I identified and focused on it as divine in origin.
A day or so later, I wasn't so sure. Foolish, I thought. That's not Om, or a divine sound. They've been doing roadwork out front all night, it's one of their machines, something for resurfacing the street.
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The resurfacing moved down a few blocks, a week or two ago. The sound is still there.
Then I thought it was a generator, maybe in the project yard on the corner (across from 7-11) where their trailer and equipment is. I finally remembered to stop in over at the 7-11 just down the street, and roll my window down. No generator. That's not it.
By then, a couple of days ago, I had begun to hear the sound equally in either ear, though the sense of direction now tends to be on the right.
Finally I started Googling on om and nada, and eventually encountered the topic of "meditation induced tinnitus." One person who has experienced this mentioned that he also experienced the siddhi of seeing his hands through his closed eyes (I have had this quite often in the last few months).
Just now I went out on the back porch, waiting for a break in traffic. The sound is there, not louder or softer. I went out in the front area. Still there, no change of direction or loudness.
Hmmmm. The one thing I haven't found online is people really describing their "meditation induced tinnitus" in terms of the actual qualities of the sound. Part of why I have found it so difficult to accept my sound as divine in origin is that it wavers slightly both in terms of pitch/vibration and loudness. It is constant in its presence, and it stays within a certain range of pitch and loudness. But the fluctuations are random, and the vibration seems to close up on itself (like the sound of a plane still heard through a building), then opens again, raising in volume slightly, etc.
I guess I am describing the sound in terms of pitch, loudness, and direction. It sounds...
IT SOUNDS LIKE AIRPLANES LANDING OVER OUR HOUSE ON TERRA BELLA. A sound I heard every day, all day and all night, when I lived there.
I was going to say, it sound like it's a certain distance away. As in, overhead, coming in from one direction, flying a couple of hundred feet overhead as it continues over and down onto the (very close) runway.
I remember the other day I had listened to country music all day and evening, and then when I turned it off, the music kept playing in my head. Sort of a mash-up of every three or four chord song playing in the background of my head as one.
So what the hell? Is my mind just making it up? Remaking it up? Or can my super-sensitive ears pick up the sound of every small plane that lands at the US busiest small airport a couple of miles away?
Or is the divine holding that memory sound as a paintbrush paints with a familiar color? Divine energy slipping into that memory sound as its "new" home between my ears??
Through all of this, when I was standing out front, I thought, how interesting... if this really is a sound not from this place, how interesting to have something divine and constant, yet which takes the ho hum sound of a small airplane engine in flight, and follows the randomly fluctuating qualities of these remembered sounds.
WTF? I can hear it right now. It's pretty much always the same, it "starts" with detection of the piercing sound of the approaching plane engine. Right now that is to the left, as it would be if I were at Bill's house on Terra Bella.
The sound gets louder, and the perception of distance is decreased (it gets slightly closer, as in the direction of the sound/plane is coming towards me). The "hum" fluctuates up and down and down and up and down and up and up and down in random patterns of random durations (phases?).
But, it never stops. There is no landing, no landing sound, no cessation of the flying sound. It just cycles over and over.
Meanwhile... I have had an experience of all this happening, and not happening, and not sure if it's happening, and the sound doesn't seem spiritual or perfect at all, etc. etc.
I don't know. It could be something I have to burn off. An impurity. Or something to help me focus on what is transient, or to focus on what is not. A place to hold on to while performing sadhana, but not a place that is inherently divine or interesting in and of itself (distracting).
I guess it could just be a very strange siddhi. I remember reading somewhere, (was it in Baba's Play of Consciousness?), that sadhus can get distracted by acquiring siddhis, and that this is not good.
I think of course I would want at this point to know whether I have tinnitus, a medical condition I will have to learn to live with, or whether this is a spiritual experience, a divine gift and an aspect of my sadhana.
What is particularly interesting is how fine the little edge is between these two very different interpretations and implications, and how I cannot seem to get off of the edge one way or another.
Perhaps this is the lesson, the gift?