You're Achieving It Now
Thoughts on the ticking clock from a soundscape meditation
I recently tried a soundscape meditation with a group.
The method in short is to start off listening to the sounds of your own breath as you would with a normal meditation, and then progressively increase the breadth of your awareness by moving that listening barrier outwards from your self. As a group exercise, we then came back together to see what common experiences we shared in listening to the sounds of the area we had inhabited together.
We all heard the dry leaves scrape against the ground near where we were sitting. We highlighted the slow, building sound of the wind rushing between the trees, and the sensation when that gust finally blew past where we were. The aim of this exercise was to create an intersubjective experience amongst each other, and in that we succeeded.
During the meditation however, my mind had wandered towards the clock.
Prior to beginning, I had set a timer on my phone as one does so that I knew when to wrap up the meditation and return to the group.
Late in the meditation, enough time felt to have gone by that I wondered if I’d started the timer at all. While it was technically a group exercise, we were seated far enough apart in the environment that one’s individual rustlings or noises wouldn’t disturb another’s.
For a few moments, I felt the anxiety of both not knowing if I’d set the timer, and not wanting to exit the meditation to check and disrupt my flow.
As I attempted to veer from this anxiety and back into some semblance of a blissful state of awareness, I came to the following highdea—High on life, no ‘ganja necessary.
This situation I was experiencing was a metaphor for the waking experience of everyone around us.
I was waiting, waiting, waiting, trying to achieve—something—and yet the something that I was waiting to achieve was actually just the end of what I should have been focussing on achieving.
I heard a metaphor once that meditating is like dancing. The point isn’t to achieve anything at all, the point is to dance.
So it goes with life.
As I came to the conclusion that that damn rectangle in my pocket wasn’t a signal of completing an achievement, but rather an interruption to what I was achieving, my anxiety at having not set the timer began to wane. I fell back into bliss. If I run over our allotted time, then someone will come and get Ben—I thought—But until then, I’m going to enjoy this moment, free of distraction and anxiety for when it may come to an end.
BZZZ, BZZZ, BZZZ.
…less than 10 seconds thereafter.
The achievement you should cherish is the one that you are currently in the process of achieving.
Recognize each moment for the achievement that it is and maybe you’ll find a little more peace in your lived experience.
That’s it for this week.
Next week, I’m going to talk about The Brothers Karamazov.
Find bliss today, don’t wait.