I went back to the Pine Cave today. Zinnia and Fate came with me.
I crawled under the pine boughs and found a comfortable seat on the fallen branches and pine needles. Facing the opening in the cave, I set the timer on my phone for 15 minutes.
I wasn’t sure what the dogs would do. We were close enough to the farm that Fate might run back to the sheep.
The first thing I noticed when I closed my eyes was how noisy it was. I could hear a constant stream of cars on Route 22. I can often hear the sound of a car when I’m walking in the woods, but this was constant and louder than when I’m just walking.
At first, I was annoyed, it was not what I was expecting. But after a while, I decided that it was just a part of my meditation and the sound became less important. Zinnia came up to me and gave my hand a lick then I could hear her settle down next to me.
Quiet came with the rain.
Not a lot of it, just a few drops making their way through the pine boughs, touching me lightly on my hands and face. The sound of cars stopped and I could hear the rain around me. But that lasted only a minute or two.
I don’t know why the two coincided.
Although we were in the woods, the pine cave isn’t far from the farm and suddenly one of the donkeys started braying. Her voice carried clearly to us and I heard Fate whine just the slightest.
It already seemed a busy meditation when I felt a tickle on one hand, then the other. I opened my eyes and plucked a tick from the back of each hand. When I closed my eyes again I wondered if it wasn’t foolish to be sitting in a fallen tree top when it was warm enough for the ticks to be out.
But I decided as I did with the unexpected traffic sounds, that I would just take notice and let it go.
When my timer didn’t got off, but I suspected the fifteen minutes was almost up, I opened my eyes. Zinnia was still sitting next to me and Fate was sitting at the entrance to pine cave, her back to me looking out, waiting, watching.
I pulled out my iPhone and saw that I hadn’t turned the timer on. My meditation lasted a little longer than I’d planned.
I couldn’t say that my meditation in the pine cave was better or worse than if I’d been meditating on the couch or on a log in the woods. It was all so new and there was so much going on. It kept my mind busy.
So I’d say it was a different kind of meditation. One where my senses took notice of what was happening around me. Maybe next time I’ll leave my eyes open and watch as well as hear, feel and smell.