Maintaining sanity during COVID lockdowns has become a challenge for some of us, including me. I was reminded of this last week when I was boarding a bus to leave one of the Disney resorts. My wife and daughter quickly found socially distanced seats. My son mistakenly picked a seat one row in front of a young man and an older woman. As soon as my son sat down, the young man started banging his phone on the back of my son’s chair and demanding that he move because there must be a row of seats between passengers on the bus.
My heart rate spiked; my breathing became intense. I was poised for attack.
Years ago, I would have ripped the phone out of his hand and put it somewhere he would not have found desirable. I know that my first response would have been violent or aggressive behavior. What made this day different? I believe it was my ability to quickly recognize the intense feeling of rage.
The situation I just described is one that most of us have experienced in our recent past. It may not be a rude passenger on a bus. For some it is a passive insult from a co-worker or a friend. For others, it could be simply finding oneself in an all too familiar situation that brings about a fight or flight response. Here, in plain sight, and in the most practical and useful of circumstances, is the reason I meditate. It is also the reason I am imploring YOU to take on this practice as well.
Leaving lengthy explanations until later posts, I will leave you with this. I began a serious daily meditation practice, and the result is that I was able to quickly identify my physiological response to the rude passenger on the bus that day. Not only was I able to identify my emotional and physiological response, but I also spared myself the hours and days of playing the scenario repeatedly in my mind, bringing up those very same emotions every time I relived the memory in my mind.
Reliving recent and old hurts, injuries, and insults takes away from the enjoyment and longevity of life. Although there are many more reasons to take on a meditation practice, isn’t this reason alone, enough to make it worthwhile?