I had a very practical practice of peace yesterday and yet it was a wonderful reminder how returning to peace can shift a situation. I had a dentist appointment. I’m not afraid of the dentist and the cleanings don’t bother me too much. It’s not my favorite thing to do but I do it dutifully.
This visit the hygienist used a different instrument. Usually they use the little pick to work at the plaque or whatever it is they scrape off your teeth. This time she used a motorized one that made that lovely sound the drill makes and of course creates a vibration when touching your teeth. It wasn’t necessarily more uncomfortable than the regular way I was used too, just different and equally uncomfortable!
As she was working I noticed my body. My hands, which had been folded gently over my stomach, were now holding on to each other for dear life and my whole body was tense as I resisted the sensations. I closed my eyes and thought; well I might as well practice! I focused on that anchor of peace within myself and knowing that it is always there. I let my body relax and centered myself in that peace. Soon I found that I could even focus peace on her fingers as they worked, knowing that sharing that peace could help us both. Of course, I had to return to that center of peace more than once but it was amazing how different the cleaning was when I was in that peace. The experience of pain shifted. I don’t know if she simply didn’t touch my gums during that time or if my perception of the pain shifted, but it no longer hurt at all. I’m not saying I would want to go through surgery without anesthesia or anything, but it was definitely a different experience when I was sitting there in a state of peace.
Practicing peace can be very practical.
There was another interesting moment before the session. We were talking about chocolate because after all it was Halloween. She explained that chocolate is not actually bad for your teeth because of the fat content, which apparently lessens the possibility of it creating tooth decay. She really never should have told me that! However, that wasn’t the interesting part. At one point in relation to the chocolate she said, “I don’t think anything God made can be bad.” That got my attention. In response I said, “I wish people would consider that in relation to people. They may not always make good choices but that doesn’t make them bad.” She paused and agreed. It was a moment that gave us both something to think about.