Meditation can be a bit of a rollercoaster. After a few days I hit a groove and was feeling great about the whole experience, but on Wednesday I hit a rough patch. I was meditating up in the hall like usual when I got hit with a minor panic attack. It suddenly became incredibly important that if something happened to my family they would have no way to contact me. In a moment I went from a peaceful state to being absolutely sure that something bad would happen.
It was a brief incident, but it shook me up a bit and affected my peace for the rest of the day. And then, on the following night, my back was bothering me so much that I decided to turn on my phone briefly to Google “meditation back pain” and see if I could find any advice that would help me continue my meditation. Immediately a text notification came through, and what I could see was enough that I knew ignoring it was not an option. I sent my love and support to a family member and shut my phone off for awhile but when I turned it on again for updates another bomb came through. My uncle had passed away from his cancer.
I was not close and held little affection for my uncle but I do love and care for my mother and cousin. Being in another country and unable to support them was not a great feeling. I had a brief text conversation with my mom and then shut my service off again but mentally it was pretty much over for me. For my last full day of meditation it was almost impossible for me to focus and I struggled as much as I had my first day. I didn’t regret breaking the rules though, instead I was grateful that I could be a little more present while my family was going through so much, even if it was limited to a few text messages and promises that I would get them on Skype as soon as possible.