I seek peace wherever I can find it. And I’m willing to try new avenues. So I made arrangements to attend a class in meditation. After all, meditation is touted as strengthening the mind; something which, as you all know, I’m all for, as a strong mind can easily combat and discard stupidity.
I took a few home study lessons which I enthusiastically embraced and deemed myself ready to practice in a group setting. A very large group setting. I know people travel to India to find peace. I like to think it exists in my own backyard and at no cost. Plus, after my course, I was feeling my heart swell with love for all humanity.
I arrived early with Husband in tow, who was happy to wait outside the Hall for me, as he had not taken the home study course and “aum” was not in his vocabulary. I took a seat off to one side, hoping to spend some time, at least initially, alone.
This brand of meditation requires inhaling quietly, then exhaling through the mouth, in two, audible breaths. However, in the Hall, a sign was posted requesting visitors breathe quietly, so as not to disturb others. I did so, as did the few others in the room. We closed our eyes and sat quietly, practicing our breathing.
Within minutes, a woman sat directly, touching distance, next to me. This despite the fact that I was surrounded by empty seats. I moved over, very nonchalantly, after accidentally throwing a pencil too far for me to easily reach. (I’m perpetually concerned about the feelings of others; even those who annoy me).
How I wish I’d brought earplugs! Her exhales could have come from a banshee just before the dreaded killer cry. In fact, I almost killed her. If anyone else in the room had opened their eyes and happened to gaze on me, they would have seen my head turned, not toward the front like it was supposed to be, but toward the woman next to me with an expression like this:
I stormed out of the room. Peace had eluded me yet again.
My husband listened to my complaint, and I debated leaving, as more peace lovers entered the Hall. Not a quitter, I went back in and took my seat, still empty due to the thunderous breather next to me. This time I gazed upon her with this expression:
Because of the rapid-fire, drastic change in my attitude, I no longer saw a stuper sitting next to me, but a weary looking, unhappy, somewhat desperate person wearing very unflattering rubbery sandals, that probably offered stupendous arch support, but were hard on the eyes.
With my revised, new-found attitude, I found that nothing disturbed me. I got through the meditation class without further incident. Her incredibly loud breathing had no effect on me. Really.
Attitude is everything.