I couldn’t help myself.
I made a grimace.
Her voice was so, so, so….irritating.
She sounded like Mini Mouse trying to teach spiritual philosophy.
The two could not mix.
“This is never going to work,” I thought. “I gotta get out of here.”
I was supposed to be in this retreat for five days with this woman.
She had white spittle, just that wee bit that some people form around the edges of their mouth, creating small white frothy lines.
I was in the front row and I could see it.
Look away, Grace!
Just look at something else besides…..
And then, this teacher herself said something that caught my ear through the deafening screams of how annoying, disgusting and ridiculous this retreat was obviously going to be. What with her mouth drool and all.
“Is there anything you’re aware of at the moment that you don’t like?”
NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT.
(Said my mind, out loud, on the inside).
But this teacher went on to say that sometimes….
….when you’re invited to be very quiet, very still, to go within….
….the mind will start having a raving fit about everything around it, and I mean everything, it could ever dream of that it finds unsuitable, repulsive, and gross.
It’s a way to “exit” the scene internally.
I won’t connect….because I actually don’t LIKE this. These are not my people. This is stupid. It’s too boring here. I’m getting NOTHING from this experience. I should leave.
If you ever notice a really nit-picky perspective focusing in on the details you hate the most….
….you might want to ask yourself, “what’s going on?”
If you weren’t focusing in with a vengeance on what you don’t like, what ELSE are you noticing?
Are you afraid, perchance?
I’m not saying you are. There may be something else happening.
But notice. Ask yourself. Are you afraid?
If so….what are you afraid of?
For me, it was one of my first meditation retreats, ever. And although at the time I wouldn’t have clearly identified this as my deep fear, I look back and see that I was terrified of SILENCE.
I was so afraid, I was looking at the world around me (including the form of this woman with foamy spit gathering in the corners of her mouth and a high-pitched voice) like it was not able to support me.
And like I needed some serious alternative entertainment. ASAP.
Because being alone with myself was…..hard.
Who would I be without that belief?
Who would I be without the thought that I can’t stand my environment (spits and squeaks) or the urge to leave is a freakin’ emergency?
I’d relax completely. Slow waaaaay down. Regroup. Calm down. Listen. Become far more present. Rest. Deep breath.
I’d let go. I’d feel my body in the chair. I’d feel how alive I am this moment.
This is what I came for.
Even if there’s really annoying sounds, I’ll take it. There’s a lot more going on than the quality of one person’s voice.
And now that I think about it, strangely….
….it’s not that bad afterall. Huh.
“There’s something delicious about finding fault with something. And that can be including finding fault with one’s self, you know? But we fail to see that we are fluid, not solid….Never underestimate the inclination to bolt when we hurt.” ~ Pema Chodron
Bolting can show up in many ways.
Including being fixated on someone’s mouth spittle.
Much love, Grace