I just read something that I first thought quite amusing but then I began to think about it as something more than a whimsical quote from Meg Wheatley (see Perseverance, p. 102) and it became a challenge to my way of thinking that puts me at the center of things. Here’s what I mean.
I love the times like yesterday afternoon when everyone who lives in our house is home doing whatever we do in an atmosphere of silence. It’s a very peaceful feeling of a communal spirit. (Ironically, some geese just flew by outside cackling wildly to disturb the morning silence.) I’m not saying I long for the days of enforced silence for most of our waking moments, but hearing the hammering of carpenters on our land or 18-wheel trucks zooming down the road can be disturbing. Then there’s the vacuum cleaner that makes me think I should be doing some household chore instead of reading in my room…but that’s another matter…and I digress. Here’s what I read:
A Buddhist teacher caught himself complaining about the loud party nearby that was disturbing his meditation. And then he had this insight. “Oh, the sound is just the sound. It is me who is going out to annoy it. If I leave the sound alone, it won’t annoy me. It’s just doing what it has to do. That’s what sound does. It makes sound. That is its job. So if I don’t go out to bother the sound, it’s not going to bother me. Aha!”