Not today though! Someone was practicing heavy breathing, or so it seemed to me. She was breathing in, holding the breath, and then breathing out. Not the end of the world, you might think, but in a silent atmosphere, it is very noisy!
What was interesting though was the effect it had on me – I was so furiously angry that I began harbouring violent fantasies about decapitating her – not quite the done thing! Fortunately I wasn’t totally engaged in this, and was watching all these thoughts and feelings being activated, and all because she wasn’t, according to me, ‘doing it right’! She should have been silent like all the rest of us.
Aaaah! The judgements! The criticism! And then the self-judgment and self-criticism for feeling like this at all! It was all there, as I sat watching it, and realised that I needed to welcome these feelings in rather than try not to have them. Well, I did welcome them (eventually), and made some progress towards thoughts of alienation and fear underneath the anger. Then the bells dinged for the end of the meditation and I was out there like a shot!
Very funny, even as I write it here. Fortunately I have other experiences when sitting silently like this, more nurturing ones, but whoever was it said that meditation was one of the most peaceful things you can give yourself? Not for me today!