Dentist: I hear drilling.

Because I haven't been meditating every day since the challenge I've been feeling guilty, and wondering if the benefits of my daily sits were "wearing off". Then a few days ago I found myself in a new dentist's office. I noticed I was not stressed. I was mellow, smiling and appreciating the view of the hills and the Frank Sinatra music, in fact I was so enjoying it I heard myself wonder if I could come and hang out more often. The walls were a warm buttery creme color and there were bronze sculptures… I then heard myself wonder if my insurance was really going to cover this whole check up. Long story short, I was pretty present, in the moment, not expecting the worst, but open to what was needed. He was a lovely man: tan, experienced, and was smiling when he said I needed a root canal. Noticing my breathing, I said, uh huh, so what happens now? He said, you go get a root canal. I was like, what do you mean? Isn't this out of the blue? I just met you 4 minutes ago and you tell me to go get a root canal?

Cut to: I'm reclining in another dentist's chair, my mouth is spread open so wide it's shaking. A "rubber dam" is holding it open after my cheek has been jiggled in a friendly yet violent manner, and the monster needle has injected novocaine. I breathed so deeply and so slowly, noticing each and every precious second of every super fascinating breath like it was my last. He kept asking, you okay? And I kept nodding, deliriously enamored by my noticing… my hands, they're relaxed… this breath, so rich, and long, and lovely… You ok? You're doing great. You're going to hear a filing sound now. Then drilling. Sorry, but your nerves are curvy. But I am breathing, and surrendered to this bizarre turn of events this afternoon.
I knew in these moments, for about 45/50 moments to be exact, my sitting was not gone. My ability to keep noticing breaths, sounds, sensations, without creating stories of horribleness, was still there. I was honestly neutral about getting this root canal. Hallelujah! After all, I could hear Oprah talking to MC Hammer and Bo Derek in the background. What's so bad?
I was seriously thankful for my practice, and for the 28 days I sat consistently. He sent me home with Vicodin, antibiotics and said to be back in a week and he'd finish up. I am going to try to sit every day this week.