The summer after I first began meditating, I recall sitting at my grandma’s cabin, watching the world around me. I watched an eagle soaring above the lake, dive and catch a fish. I watched my one son rip a leaf off a tree while another was whacking another tree with a stick. I watched an ant carrying another injured ant… all of this happening concurrently, silently.
It was then I realized I am loud. If I were that leaf, that ant, that bird, that tree, I would be making such a big deal out of it all. I would be screaming in pain, in anger, in unfairness, in sadness, in all kinds of emotion. The world would be so loud. But it wasn’t. All of this life and death was happening around me, silently. It just was. It just is.
These thoughts came to me again, later, at home. At the time, my family was in the middle of chaos. I don’t recall what was going on, but my family was fighting, crying, hitting, yelling. I could feel my emotion, my anger and frustration, rising. Fortunately, before I did anything about it, my partner asked me if I could move our van from the garage to the street. I walked outside to move the van. It was a beautiful, sunny day. And it was silent. No hint of the chaos reigning inside.
It also brought me back to the day my son Trey was diagnosed with a progressive and rare disease MPS II, Hunter Syndrome. While my entire world and existence and reason for being came crashing down around me, people were in line at Starbucks ordering coffee, chatting, on lunch break, completely unaware that the world had just ended. I can honestly tell you, not that it felt like the world had ended, but that it did in fact end. I can still feel the end of the world, almost nine years later. Only it didn’t. I just thought that it had.
Time and time again, in the midst of my loud and big mind, I am reminded of the idea I works towards through meditation of finding that deep sense of calm and peace inside while chaos is going on around us, like the calm depths of an ocean when a storm is raging up above.
The catch is being able to notice and then step outside of the raging storm while we are in the middle of it. Life happens. It’s up to us how we respond. Ultimately, it’s up to me how loud I want my life to be.