Meditation Debate: Quiet or Not?

Generally, when meditating, one seeks out a peaceful and quiet environment to do it in. Makes sense. Meditation requires focus and concentration.

Complete silence, though, is never really possible in this world. Even if you go out into nature and sit beneath a tree, you’ll still hear birds chirping and leaves brushing one another.

When doing a meditation in which the goal is to focus inwardly and to keep one’s attention on a mantra without thinking, do we need as much silence as possible?

I’ve always felt that once you get practiced with meditation, you should be able to focus yourself where ever you are, in any situation, even if it is noisy. Others think there should be a still atmosphere around.

What do you think? Should our goal be to be able to meditate even in noisy or difficult situations? Is a peaceful surrounding environment necessary to get the most benefit from meditation?

http://www.srisathyasai.org.in/Pages/AshramInfo/interested_places.htm
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