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Tamed by Stillness



My dogs at the start of this morning’s meditation practice:


One standing at the doorway to my study, barking, demanding my attention; the other sniffing persistently at my unmoving feet, then my upturned palms, as I sit on my cushion.

Pushing down rising anger, annoyance and irritation, I invite my mantra again and try to stay focused, centered and present. Concentration broken, temptation to give up, to yell at one or push away the other.


Instead, I remain still. Breathing in, breathing out.


Calmed by the flow of air into my lungs and then its release, by the steady beating of my heart, by the white noise of the air conditioner. And softened by the gently unfolding awareness that this is the key to a deeper inner life: stillness.


Not pushing away what irritates me, not being angry at every distraction, but simply remaining still. Taking the external noise and seeing it as a part of, not apart from, my experience--because it inhabits the same moments in which my breath flows, my heart beats, and the AC hums and cools. I have only to be still, and allow it. All of it.


I breathe. I listen. And I smile as both dogs settle, curling up beside me. And I sink in.


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