Stop Breathing Down My Neck. I’m Trying to Be Compassionate.

nostril breathe on my neck

Photo credit: -sel / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

How to obtain peace when other people are around.

Listening to Adyashanti explain how resistance causes our suffering, I could not focus because some guy behind me was breathing like a hot furnace.

“Meditation ended 20 minutes ago, Mister. Give it a break!” I caught myself thinking.

I could feel his humid breath on the back of my neck and smell traces of rancid basil and olive oil just below my nostrils. Ironically, Adyashanti was telling a story about how his lazy boss really got on his nerves when he was younger.

“Then I realized that I was not focusing on reality. I was focusing on what I thought reality should be,” Adyashanti said (not in those exact words). The reality was that his boss was lazy. The suffering came from Adyashanti’s desire for his boss to be something he wasn’t–productive, helpful, understanding. Adyashanti was resisting the reality of who his boss was.

In my mind, I had created all kinds of stories about the guy behind me. He was an insecure meditator who felt the need to alert everyone around him that he could meditate not just for the perfunctory 15 minutes, but for the entire 2 hour talk.

“Hell is other people.” ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

Peace isn’t that hard to obtain when you are by yourself or sitting in meditation. It is other people that constantly disturb my peace. Now I realize that it is not the other people but my resistance to those others that cause my suffering. If I just let other people be who they are, then I don’t get upset.

Slow drivers can just be other humans on the road to happiness. Insecure egomaniacs are just mirrors of my own insecurity and over compensations. Like disturbing thoughts, I attach no stories or desires to them and let them float away. Well, at least that is the practice.

Deepak Chopra said his life became full of joy the day he decided to not be offended any more. So my challenge to myself and anyone interested is to go one hour in the presence of PEOPLE (Dogs don’t count) without getting offended. I did a test run tonight, and it is a lot harder than it seems.

May you be free from suffering. May you find peace and joy.

How are you most offended? Please share.

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