I wasn't going to meditate today, since I'm only supposed to do three sessions this week. However, I had to get some cavities filled this morning and I suspected a meditation attempt would help me before, during, and after this event. I should mention that I enjoyed perfect dental health for 29 years...until I had a baby. Nobody told me producing and then breastfeeding a human child would suck the calcium from my bones and rot the teeth from my mouth.
I digress. Where's my breath?
As soon as the dentist walked into the room, I began working on thinking about "breath, breath, not breath...not breath...NOT BREATH!" First, visual and aural things distracted me. He had lots of curly chest hair peeking above his scrubs. Someone down the hall was singing along to the radio. Then, it started to smell weird and I no longer enjoyed breathing through my nose. So there I was, tense-bodied and breathing heavily through my mouth in the dental chair. I eventually gave up trying to meditate in that environment.
Feeling distracted and distraught, I decided this evening was a good one to use the CD. From the moment I heard that tingly bell, I thought I'd enjoy the guided practice much more than my solo attempt. There were some great metaphors (like comparing the breath among busy thoughts to spying a friend in a crowd of people) and it seemed like just the ticket to a focused session.
But then, I stopped enjoying the cd. I felt myself letting go in the moments between Sharon's words in a way I can't ever seem to let go. I found that I was getting kind of good at ignoring the running dishwasher, refrigerator, furnace, and baby monitor. It all began to blend together, white background noise that faded as a strong, comforting quiet filled my head.
Within a few minutes, the sporadic guided suggestions from Sharon began to startle me, and so I turned her off (wishing she would come over and ring that delightful bell at the end of twenty minutes to let me know my time had passed).
And I just sat on my living room floor, alone, silent with my breath. I must say I was surprised by my own stillness, my calm. Sure, I had a bunch of thoughts, pains, interruptions, flashbacks and list-makings, but as the book suggested, I became aware I had wandered and just returned to the breath.
I wasn't angry, I didn't feel rushed, and I was really happy to have just one task for those moments.