Meditating And Jury Duty

"Ernie And The Crow" oil painting by T. Boehle copyright 2007

I showed up for jury duty properly dressed.  I had even switched from a silk tee to a collared shirt right before I left at 7:45 am.  I am a rule follower first. Left brain.

I could recognize the others as we approached the courthouse.  Singles not doubles, touting bags filled with distractions.  Looking focused on the path to the door.  Inside, at 8:30 am, we were corralled into a room not dissimilar to an airport gate.  After checking in and receiving $15 cash, compensation for our civic duty, we sat and were made to watch repeatedly a video about best manners and ethics of jury duty.  The volume was too loud and slightly fuzzy.  After several plays it was highly agitating.  Left brain.

Within the first hour a line formed at the vending machines and I decided to take the time to meditate. With my feet flat on the floor, left hand cradling right, thumbs lightly touching and my back straight I breathed in.  And then out. Right brain.

Immediately, I relaxed.  The man behind me was snoring; the woman beside me leaned very closely towards me as she laughed.  I heard office sounds from the desk: telephones ringing, fax beeps, drawers closing.  I heard  the familiar sounds of unwrapping of candy and the twists and sissts of soda bottles opening.  Left brain.

I brought my awareness back to my breath.  In for the count of 4, hold for 2 and exhale for 6.  Colors of purple, blue and some green swam in my mind’s eye.  And then, there I went, chasing colors and breathing oxygen.  Right brain. 

My monkey mind danced by, incessantly calling out to me: remember when …, aren’t you going to …, don’t you think …?  Left brain.

Bringing my awareness back to my breath, I returned to a place of peace and joy. I looked into the colors and found shapes that morphed into faces and on to new shapes.  Right brain. 

Excuse me, came a voice.  I opened my eyes and made myself small so that she could pass more easily.  I noted an elderly man across the room watching me.  His gaze haunted me as I closed my eyes and breathed.  Distracted, anxious and self-conscious I slowly opened my eyes to his. Left brain.

He was across the room, but right with me.  While considering the situation, I heard the snoring.  I was satisfied; if sleeping and snoring are acceptable so is mediating.  With intention, I closed my eyes and my monkey mind ran in front of me shouting and dancing, You were self conscious when you breast-feed your children in public.  Over 20 years ago, I countered.  My stomach growled and I noticed I was cold.  Left brain.  

I brought my awareness to the idea of shifting for improved comfort and then I moved.  Like coming up for air while swimming.  Back down I went to a place I greatly enjoyed being.  A place where staying is always and often reconsidered.  I thanked my monkey mind for the constant reminder that it is very easy to be distracted.  Left brain.

1 comment
  1. tylersr said:

    thanks for sharing. that’s a cool painting, too.

    enjoy the day!

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