About a year ago I started trying (again), with some seriousness, to meditate every morning. Mostly because I was aware of how shallow my breathing is, and how little time I spend in the present moment, and because of some renewed thinking I’d been doing about mindfulness. I made up a breath wheel on my AutoCAD program and a little routine to follow. My breath wheel is just a circle of numbers from one to twelve with little indications on it to guide my breathing. I noticed right away that I have a permanent ringing in my ears. This is apparently not uncommon and probably is a product of my working with power tools and/or loud music blasting in my truck, (which I do on occasion for a cheep thrill) Oops. There are a lot of petty annoyances like this one. Mosquito bites, dripping faucets, humidity… Things that don’t amount to anything, but which come into play when I try to meditate. At first I was discouraged by the ringing, but then I started to use the ringing as a marking point in my meditating. When I noticed the ringing, that meant I was tuning into the moment. It also helped to let go of the notion of complete silence, with is not actually possible. I started listening to the ringing. Trying to be present with it and just let it be. Meditation does just what it is suppose to do. It forces me out of the clouds and into the moment. In the clouds I am ruminating about seemingly important matters, worrying, planning, escaping, regretting…, in the moment, all of that goes away. Because it isn’t actually existent. What comes into play, is what is present. Ringing in my ears. The tension in my neck, the unfamiliar sensation of deeper breath. The little stuff. As much as I would like to have an experience of meditation as a mind blowing awakening where universal wisdom rushes into my awaiting mind space, all sorts of psychedelic images of dancing gods appear and I get caught up in a rapture of oneness, the reality for me is much more banal. In the past this let down has ended my practice. These days, though, I am more willing to let the present be what it is. Chigger bites and all. The work for me is to accept and embrace what the present moment is. To let that be enough. Even if the wisdom is simply that my problems and concerns that are actually tangible are petty and insignificant.