Meditation on a Fly
I was lying on my back with 20 other meditators listening to the soothing voice of our facilitator as he led us into the present moment. A fly landed on my arm. I instinctively raised my arm to get him away, but of course he returned. I didn’t want to spend the whole session waving my arms in the air so I decided to allow the annoyance in instead of pushing it away. I concentrated on the feel of the little legs on my arm which may have done more to bring me into the present moment than the meditation being led by our teacher.
The fly left my arm and landed on my nose. It was as if the fly decided to raise the bar of annoyance. I stayed in the present moment and resisted the impulse to swat the fly away. At this point, it felt like I was in a Vulcan Mind Meld with this fly. We were one with each other. Then, the fly left my nose and landed on my eyeglass lens. Now I’m looking up at the blurry underbelly of a fly.
I learned more from that fly than I did from my meditation teacher. I learned to be in the present moment and allow instead of resist.
It was the renowned Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung (1875–1961), who taught us that whatever you resist persists. What he meant by that is the more you resist anything in life, the more you bring it to you.
That’s true of flies, people, and life circumstances. The next time you’re annoyed by anything, ask yourself what it can teach you. You might be surprised at what you learn.
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