Day 59- half a day, half an hour

We wake up early to get our things together. We fly out of Los Angeles, the city of angels, today. The whole morning is about getting to the airport as calmly as possible, waiting patiently while you hand over more money (for the surfboards, of course), and then finally sit down to choke on a sub-standard egg sandwich.

We get on the plane and I finally have a moment to sit with myself. I realise how much I have come to enjoy in-flight meditations. We are about to spend ten hours on this flight and by the time we get off for two hours in Tokyo, it will be the afternoon of the following day. I try not to confuse myself about when to meditate so as to make sure I get one each day, but I figure if I just do it in the morning of each city we are in, then I should be right. I get my iPod and for the first time I notice how loud a plane actually is; between the whir of the engines, the clink of the service tray, the babies crying and the mysterious intermittent beeping sound I have to increase the volume to maximum capacity. I am listening to an album I downloaded from iTunes called Tibetan Meditation Music: for quiet mind and peaceful heart by Nawang Khechog. Layered over the gentle music is the soft murmur of Buddhist whispers and the chiming of a bell. I sit quietly within myself, simply existing, for half an hour, with surprising ease. How is it so easy today? I can’t figure out what I have done differently. I go to the bathroom and come back to my seat, realising I have about nine hours left of flying. I really don’t have much else to do, so why not just meditate some more? Andrew is sleeping anyway so I have some more time of blissful solitude before he wakes up. I close my eyes and try to return to that space I just was but it seems I am not there anymore. I can’t figure out where I went, since I was here just a few minutes ago. I search through my body for a whisper of presence but it seems I have misplaced myself. I am about to turn off my music and give up when I hear a whisper from deep within. It seems someone is calling out to me. I close my eyes and listen harder for the inner voice. Oh yes, that is me- searching for myself. It turns out I am here after all. In a flash of recognition I realise that had I not been present, I would not have noticed that I was not there, nor bothered to look for myself. It’s always nice to find oneself; even if I was not missing in the first place.

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