Recently, I decided to meditate in the backyard. It was a beautiful day: a perfect temperature, a slight breeze, clear blue skies, birdsong permeating the air in the breeze. I set down my meditation cushion, set the timer for 30 minutes, and took a deep breath.
At that moment, as soon as I was about to exhale and relax, the next door neighbor decided that moment would be the perfect time to blast country music. The kind of loud, raucous country music, with a baseline that reverberated the sidewalk and rumbled my bones.
As I was contemplating what to do about this assault on my eardrums, to the left of me, a garbage truck pulls up. As you know, garbage trucks are noisy. And smelly. And when they pick up garbage, it makes things more smelly.
So here I am, loud country music to the right of me, a cacophonous truck to the left, and the smell of rotting garbage in my nose, and I’m watching my mind.
And boy is my mind angry. My meditation practice is completely ruined. That neighbor is so insensitive and their taste in music is terrible. Why does the garbage truck have to come right now, don’t they know I’m trying to meditate?
So then I ask myself, who is to say this isn’t heaven? Who am I to not only label country music as bad, but also to say that the sound of the garbage trucks is not music?
Once I shifted my perspective, away from judging and pushing away, I surrendered fully to my experience.
A wave of acceptance washed over me, and something deep inside let go. I sat there, in the midst of it all, and finally found peace.
So our task, again and again, is to surrender. Surrender fully to what is. Our default mode is so often moving from one state of dissatisfaction to the next, rather than simply be with that is. Once we let go of our resistance to the way things are, we see the perfection behind it all.
This is what the Jesuit priest Anthony de Mello meant when he said, “Enlightenment is absolute cooperation with the inevitable.” Once we fully surrender to what is, we can finally rest in the spiritual joy we were born to be.
What are you resisting in your life, and can you let it go?
Zach Beach is an internationally renowned yoga teacher, best-selling author, poet, love coach, founder of The Heart Center love school, host of The Learn to Love Podcast. Learn more at www.zachbeach.com
Image courtesy of Darius Bashar.