On Mindfulness

  • I had a cold recently; a common, unpleasant cold. I know the story of it, how it starts, the first symptoms, how it develops and all its stages. I do not like it, I get upset, irritated and angry that it is happening again. I am so careful avoiding draughts, freezing and lack of sleep. Still it is getting into me usually when I least want it. So here it is: the ordinary, common cold. My mind is doing everything to tell me what to do to shorten it, to trick it out of my body, to get rid of it. But I also have my training in meditation, so I approach this uncomfortable member of my life in a mindful way. I concentrate completely on the feeling; I put my attention on the headache, I move it to my swallen nostrils and sore throat...and I feel it, I sense what's going on there as if I never, ever had a cold before, as if it was a first ever experience of this strange state. And when I manage to approach my cold from that perspective I stop thinking about it, I allow it to be here, because the fact is that it is already here in my body. And I trust my body to cope with it, it knows what to do, it is prepared to heal in its own pace. I do not need to think about it and this action brings relief.  One can meditate on a cold.