A busy morning this morning dissuaded me from my usual mediation time. I had much to do, and then a dental appointment at 11:30 a.m.
Upon sitting in the chair to begin my two-hour long procedure, I decided this may be a perfect time to meditate!
I folded my hands on my stomach as I lay back comfortably in the Dentist chair. The first distraction came with the shots of Novocaine. But I was mindful that this small pinching feeling was a gift, and that were it not for this shot I would endure far more physical pain.
I then proceeded with my normal loving kindness (metta) meditation.
As my mouth was pulled to unnatural proportions, I focused on my breath and returned to loving kindness.
Picking, prodding and grinding followed, but I became aware that these are only physical sensations. There was no need for my mind to follow these or attach to them.
As my mouth remained open like a gaping hole in my head, I oddly remembered being at my Grandmothers bedside when she died. I remembered that this was the final look on her face when she passed.
I realized instantly that this may also be my final pose one day. But more importantly, this was a wonderful reminder of impermanence.
Gently, I returned my focus back to my breath. But now I was more present and alive in this moment.
I gained a spontaneous awareness of that very moment and even that breath. It truly is the only breath I have.
Continuing to pull, tug, grind etc., the Dentist worked on. His few words, and the many sounds became merely a backdrop to my meditation. I was aware that these were not disturbing or distracting, only my mind could disturb those sounds if I let it. I found no aversion (dose) or grasping (upadana) in any of this.
More and more I found myself to be in a rhythm with all things. My breath, the Dentist, the sounds. How peaceful this was!
I returned my focus to loving kindness especially towards the Doctor at that point. I was so very grateful for his work, his gentleness, and this gift that he was offering me.
Bhante Sujatha has always taught me that meditation can be anywhere, and while you are doing any thing.
This was never more clear to me than today’s visit to the Dentist.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.