Quiet, Please: Spiritual Reflection and Surviving Breast Cancer

Quiet, Please: Spiritual Reflection and Surviving Breast Cancer
A Lump in the Road column It’s that time of year. I fly to San Francisco, make my way to the hospital from the airport, and step into the meditation room for a moment of reflection before checking in. It’s a small room on the first floor. After the angst of leaving my family, the craziness of parking, and the grit of the city, this room is a soft landing. I heave open its thick, church-like door and take in the shift. Noise gives way to quiet. My eyes adjust to diffused lighting, and the only sound I hear is a soft trickle of water. Smooth round rocks remind me of the sturdiness of the earth, the miracle of nature, and I take a seat. I see that a few of the stones have been formed into the shape of an impromptu cross on the floor, others piled in Zen-like patterns on a shelf. I bow my head, breath deeply, seek the presence of God. Nothing. I focus on my breathing, inhale through my nose. Slowly exhale through my mouth. Count to ten. Nope. I could be in the sale aisle at Walmart. I feel no sacred presence, no sense of connection. Sometimes it happens this way, so I wait. But waiting for God in meditation is like waiting for a treat to heat up in a microwave. The seconds tick by slowly. I glance at my cellphone, then flip it into my bag. I jiggle the keys of my rental car, then put them away. Who am I kidding? I can’t meditate. I’m an impostor. I try one more time, do the deep breathing thing again. It’s no use. I get up, wander to the entryway and see prayers
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