This is part of my meditation journal. See the first post for additional details.
I tried Hear Rest for the second time today with decent success. It's funny, but in the Hear In sessions where I try to listen for mental chat, the thoughts seem poised on springs with hair triggers, ready to spring into my inner auditorium at the slightest provocation. However, in the Hear Rest sessions so far, where you are focusing on both mental and physical silences, it seems my thoughts are more rested and secure in being tucked away in quiet places. Obviously there is a psychological aspect of expectation affecting my experience; as if listen for chatter make chatter, while listening for silence creates silence.
Another interesting factor is, according to the Five Ways manual, the physical silence you listen for here is not necessarily true silence, but rather auditory rest, and even suggests that some people purposefully listen to some kind of white noise to achieve the physical sound rest. So I wonder if it may be more appropriate to say that, in the physical realm, you are really just trying to focus on when you loose focus and attachment to sounds. I don't know...
I tried envisioning the stoplight-style visual noting again. It went much better this time, as I did far less impulsive mental-color-naming than I had on the first try. This seems to really work for me. Also, I forgot to mention regarding the first stoplight experiment that, besides mentally calling out colors, my eyes also impulsively moved to the correct virtual location as if looking at an actual giant stoplight. I did a lot less of that this time around too.
I'm looking forward to tomorrow, when there will be a guided beginners session by Shinzen focusing on the "Feel" methods of meditation. I suspect that a lot of my questions about the Hear options will be answered with parallel guidance on the Feel methods.