Attaining Miami Zen Calmness
During this mornings mediation session I experienced a case of hiccups. It was a distraction for me and a hindrance for the new student seated nearby. After the session the new student mentioned that she had considered calling 911. I can relate to her frustration. This leads me to think of how important Attaining Miami Zen Calmness can be!
When facing a distraction the mind story goes something like: “If only the sound of the hiccups would go away everything would be better.” But this is a steep slope that only leads to more dis-satisfaction.
How does one meditate while experiencing a major distraction? Is there anything I can do to stop or ease these hiccups? I spend a few futile minutes trying strategies to change the situation; starting with holding my breath as long as possible, a remedy first prescribed in my childhood. But it does nothing to ease the hiccups. Next, I try long-slow-controlled breaths. Nope. Breathing with mouth open. Nope. Timing the hiccup to the point of maximum inhalation. Nope. Finally, after trying all known remedies, the only option is to sit with the distraction and embrace it. Accepting and fully experiencing them without trying to change anything.
Once acknowledged, and without wishing for a different outcome, the experience may become much easier to accept. Also, acceptance may allow an opening to an even deeper experience because the distraction becomes motivation to focus with even more intensity.
The same could be true for dealing with physical or emotional pain.
On Thursday mornings a car often pulls up outside the center with seemingly the loudest radio in Miami. It blasts Merengue music complete with accordion, piano, trumpets, saxophone, tuba, conga drums and happy singing. The sound is overpowering and even the flower vase on the altar vibrates with the rhythm. It is next to impossible to keep from being carried away by physical sensations or fabricated mental stories around the music. But after several experiences, I know the distraction will be of a short duration and then gradually trail off into the distance. Like everything else this musical distraction arises and disappears. It is worth noting that now if the music car does not come I feel the session was missing something. Yet another challenge to Attaining Miami Zen Calmness.
“HELLO, 911 0perator? I want to report a car with loud merengue music… Yes, it is an emergency. I am trying to meditate!”.
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Written by: Bill Durham