I am sitting in the Zen dome with my eyes half-open, half-closed, with my hands on top of each other, and my thumbs slightly touching. I shift my body right and left, back and forth, and take three full breaths. My intention is to concentrate on my breath and allow thoughts to fade away like mist. I hear the sound of the bell DING! It's time to start sitting in silence.
Three seconds after hearing the relaxing bell, I hear BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! Following the car alarm, an ice cream truck, playing the music we used to salivate over as children, parks what feels like right outside the window where I am sitting. It makes a home next to me for the next half an hour, which is approximately how long my first sitting session lasts. It doesn't end there. Ambulances, helicopters, cars, arguments, channel news, and other city noise penetrate the dome of silence.
As I'm sitting there, I ask myself are these noises penetrating the dome or are they penetrating me? Of course, the point of meditation is not to ask questions, but to allow whatever arises to be there, without judgement. That is exactly what I do to the best of my ability. I'm listening to the noise out there along with listening to the disturbance I'm experiencing inside of me. With each disturbing noise, I place more and more attention on my breath. Undeterminable amount of time later, I am no longer listening to the noise and my breath, I am the noise. I and the noise are one. My breath and the noise are one. Everything out there stays exactly how it is, but I am no longer this separate person who is bothered or not bothered. I am what's out there and what's out there is me.
Reflecting upon the above experience, I realized that I had a first-hand glimpse of what all true spiritual teachers are talking about. Everything that happens out there is actually inside of me. There is no out there. Even the city noise has a voice and that voice is me and that voice is you and that voice is us.
Join me in letting the noise in so we can hear the silence from within.