Eyes closed. Sitting still. Clearing the mind. Quiet. Morning. Then…bzzzz…Nope, I’m in the zone. I’m ignoring it. Quiet. Quiet…bzzz..urgh! So l stand up, lift the window blinds fully and open the window. Wide. This fly better use this opportunity before I figure out a way to swat it. So much for being zen.
Okay, back to the cushion and back in the meditation zone. Except it’s not quiet anymore. I hear birds chirping and singing and I feel the sun shining. I cannot even hear the fly anymore so am not sure if it flew out the window or not but it no longer matters. My mind is focused on the outside sounds, wondering if they were always there and I’m not irritable at all. I’m quite relaxed all of a sudden.
How many times do we let this happen? We let something so small get to us; work us up and the more we try to ignore it the more it gets to us. We zone in on the tiny, annoying sound and do not even hear everything else that we missing out on.
We could either try to tune it out or we could lift the blinds, open the window and let it out. The one requires ignorance, the other acknowledgment, and action.
That’s how I experienced the fly while trying to meditate. I was trying to tune it out which only made the sound louder. It was a reminder to me that I wasn’t comfortable with the window closed and blinds down blocking the natural light and fresh air but I was already settled and somewhat comfortable enough that I didn’t want to get up. I wanted to deal with the situation as it was and get this meditation over with because I said I was going to do it. This meant missing out on a good session, missing out on the birds’ sounds, and missing out on the natural light.
Lift the blinds and open the window.
Once that window was open, I couldn’t even hear the fly and all the other sounds were so pleasant I meditated for longer than expected.
I went from questioning my meditation methods and needing to figure out how I was going to work myself up to do this the next morning and every morning after that to looking forward to my next session.
We do this often. Or rather I do this often. I do not want to make small adjustments or changes when I’m uncomfortable in a situation because I’m either lazy, afraid, overthinking about the impacts, or a combination of the three. It’s not until it becomes unbearable and I have something as small as a fly push me to act that I do what is required. And once that’s done, I can’t imagine trying to meditate again with the window closed or blinds down. A whole new world emerges over the tiniest change.
And these are changes or requirements known to us. It’s so obvious. Put in a little bit of effort, open the window, lift the blinds and that little fly will not affect you. We can liken this to changing that one small thing in our lives; eating one fruit a day, a few minutes of exercise, spending a few extra minutes on a task, or listening to someone intently. These little things make all the difference and yet we often take them for granted or do not believe that they will make that much of an impact.
Until we try it.
The fly disappears and there’s a sudden sense of relief. A calmness. A true understanding and appreciation for the birds chirping and singing…that was always there but missed because the focus was on that tiny, little fly.