Day Six was a lot like the painful but okay with it moments of Day Five. I was trying my best not to crave that peace I felt on the morning of the fifth and accept the fact that I may not get there in the ten day course and that it may be months or longer before I felt that awesomeness sitting in meditation.
The meditation was just as hard as all the other days. As good as the experience is it is truly exhausting much of the time.
Maybe all the time.
But you know you need the practice and so you keep on practicing. It’s a lot like being a cobbler who keeps screwing up shoe repair, but keeps trying to repair the same damn shoe and doing it the tiniest bit better every ten minutes.
It’s a feature.
You know five minutes into a sit sometimes that you’ve already blown it. Or it’s going to be all uphill. You’re already distracted or you’re already wishing your foot was somewhere else and it’s going to start hurting in- Nope. It’s already hurting.
Six minutes in and it’s already hurting and what was I supposed to be doing? Oh yeah, top of your head, top of your head. You start over again, your life is one big run on sentence in your head and here let me try it again oh but wait I’ll just adjust this foot a little and it will feel, Nope. It will send blood to that area and it will actually hurt more and I think we’re only at eleven minutes now.
You can’t start over. You can’t ever start over or stop early and pick it up later. Day Six for me was about not suffering. NOT doing it. Patience isn’t a trait you’re born with. You carve it out of yourself. First out of spite. No. That was just how I did it. I’m going to accept this without suffering damn it! Yes. I am.
Years have passed and I have a lot more patience than before this experience. And it came from that. Patience is admired, but the key to it for me is this:
Don’t scratch your nose. No matter what you do withstand the itch. Observe the itch. That’s patience. Mine anyway. Putting the itch indefinitely on hold. Not laughing at it, laughing with it. Like a child with a finger a centimeter away from the eye of his sibling,
“I’m not touching you!”
You’re right. You’re not. But your finger is very close. So close I can feel a little heat radiating into my eye. But I’ll laugh with you. And then you stop being a bully. Because we’re laughing together.
Day Six revealed this startling fact: sneezes are NOT actually involuntary.
There is a moment when you must participate, although it seems impossible that you can’t. But a sneeze will pass. It will shoot more sensation through your head than a roundhouse kick, but you don’t have to move and you don’t have to change your breathing and a sneeze will roll through you. And no one will be the wiser. But the sneezer.