Today was my final day sitting a weekend-long meditation retreat; and it was kind of a rough experience.  This morning I awoke feeling sad, discouraged, frustrated, just overall ‘down’.  😦  But I made my way to the meditation hall, and settled in for yet another session.

About 30 minutes into the meditation, an old-timey bell began to sound.  It sounded like the ringer of a late 1970s-type phone.

The retreat center we were staying at was a good 40 years old, and nearly everything in the place was original, so I figured that the noise we were all hearing was perhaps one of the office phones that someone forgot to take off the hook this morning.  I kept my eyes closed, and returned to my breath.

The ringer chimed again, only louder this time.

My mind now became pretty busy trying to piece together the mystery: What is the noise?

The ringer chimed a third time, louder still.

Unable to contain my curiosity, I opened my eyes – and saw the monk sitting at the front of the room, lifting his fabric that was at the foot of the podium on which he sat.  A fourth ring later, the monk placed his hand into the sack – and extracted an iPhone.

All of the retreat participant’s eyes were on him, watching.  The monk smiled slightly, a bit embarrassed; but then in the very next second he wore a very genuine grin that basically said, “Oh well!”  His eyes lit up, his gaze met ours, and his lips parted into a full-on smile.  He silenced the phone, slipped it back into his bag, placed the bag back on the floor, put his hands back in his lap, closed his eyes, and resumed meditating – like nothing had happened.

Even monks make mistakes, and get embarrassed; the difference is they accept it, and move on.

This is a terrific example for me to follow; and was a terrific way for me to end my retreat.


About Stef

A "serious" gal who is trying to remember to lighten up and smile.
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2 Responses to Oops…

  1. A great life lesson! Sometimes easier said than done though… :S


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