My Noisy Meditation

Sometimes I yell at myself.

Meditation has always been a problem for me.  Finding a quiet   place. Sitting comfortably.  Breathing and quieting the mind of all the days clutter.  Big problem.  Not the finding a quiet place part, the freeing or quieting of the mind part.  It seems my mind is always moving.  I think of the days triumphs and disasters, (more so the latter), and the up and coming issues that have not yet revealed themselves.  I hear the sounds of my environment that normally do not invade my senses like a herd of cattle.  My mind behaves much like a monkey, dancing and screaming, calling attention to every nuance, never allowing me to experience that quiet solace so often talked about.  Until just the other day, and oddly following what I believed to be a fruitless attempt, I realized that the noise and clammer that so distracted me was actually part of the meditation itself.

As I sat there and contemplated the noise that raged through my environment, a thought arose; how could I know the silence without the noise?  I pondered that for a moment, almost relinquishing it to as yet another distraction.  Then I realized that all of this existence comes from the silence.   All the noise, the children on the playground down the street, the birds chirping above my head, the knock of a woodpecker on the face of the tree in front of me, all emerge from the same silence that, to my surprise, sits just beneath the clammer.  There, just after the passing car, sits the silence, the place from which all things emerge, even the space through which they travel.  I turned my attention to that space, that place of quiet awareness.  No thing was there, you see, only the awareness of being, the silent watcher that allowed it all to be.  I waited each time I heard a sound for the silence to reveal itself.  There, in the blade of grass.  There, in the calm behind the wind.  There, in the space behind my thoughts.  For at once, all of it manifested from nothing, or something, that only existed as awareness.

My attempt at meditation ceased as I looked deeper for that which existed even behind the attempt.  There I found what could not be described. That which was also myself without the trappings of form and sound.  That which permeates all things and is all things.  My heart exploded into a joy that I cannot explain.


Now when I meditate I do not fear the sound, the noise, or the distraction, for they help me to experience that from which they come.  Perhaps my life also mirrors this.  To see, one must first be blind.  To know, one must first be ignorant.  To feel, one must first be without sensation.  To be, one must first not be.   I think from now on I will keep my cup empty and be glad and excited.  As for meditation, I can’t wait.  Bring on the noise.


Flower photo