Jenny Haddle

Jenny Haddle

Kenzai Member
Assistant Trainer

Mind Day 14 - Africa, Land of Noise

  • Nov 18th, 2018 at 12:09PM

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Before I moved to Southern Africa, I used to be easily bothered by dogs barking at night or loud events in my neighborhood. Then, I lived in a Zambian village for 2 years. Every night, dogs barked. Try stopping them. Goats rubbed against my house, courted each other and generally made devilish sounding noises. Drunks stumbled through the village preaching at midnight (or anytime of the night). Mistresses fought wives, seriously, this happened. And, on and on. So, dogs barking at night don't bother me anymore.

Next, I moved to an African (Zambia and Malawi) neighborhood. Every Sunday (sometimes as early as 6am), my neighbors (no matter which neighborhood and I've lived in many) decided that God's day is party day. Music, as loud as possible and as long as possible. I've lived in neighborhoods with bars that were 4ish blocks way and when they had weekend night concerts, the music was so loud it sounded like I was actually attending the concert. Loud music no longer phases me.

In Africa, I've learned lots of lessons. LOTS of lessons. This is one of the many. The animals and my neighbors don't give a flying fudge if I am bothered by them. They are busy enjoying their life. Shouldn't you be doing the same?

And so, noise is not a bother when I meditate (unless it is my baby crying because that means I need to respond or ensure someone else is), and life is more peaceful, despite the noise. I think this is why the Buddha suggests that enemies make the greatest teachers.

Side note - I still have not made peace with mosquitoes while I meditate. The thought chain goes something like this, "A mosquito, Uh-oh, I wonder if it's a malaria mosquito, where is it?, did it land?, is it biting me?, kill it!, kill it"

And a PS - True to form. It is Sunday. The neighbors are partying.

 
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7 comments

Gillian S.Gillian S.Alumni
7 months ago

Such a thoughtful post- thank you- and great food for thought this Sunday morning. Another reminder that our situations can't always change, but how we view and respond to them can.


    Janet L.Janet L.Kenzai Member
    7 months ago

    Great post! It is amazing how adaptable we can be if we don’t push back. I wondered about mosquitoes when the lesson wrote about letting the insects do their own thing. I agree with your “kill”mental, even without the fear of malaria. Fortunately not a big problem inside for us.


      Kathleen C.Kathleen C.Kenzai Member
      7 months ago

      Amazing how one's brain and mind can adapt. I am not sure how well I would sleep in a Zambian village (at least to start) but I suspect my challenges would be more when I am awake (and the sound gets under your skin. Fascinating change in your perspective over time. As for mosquitoes - kill it!!! will win over any meditation!


        Yvonne T.Yvonne T.Kenzai Member
        7 months ago

        I love your reflections on life in Africa! Amazing how you adapted to the surrounding noises.


          Patrick ReynoldsPatrick ReynoldsKenzai Member
          Founder7 months ago

          Yes, mosquitos are a really tough call to make. Your health is important! Can you slap a mosquito with awareness? Probably!


            Sandhya KrishnanSandhya KrishnanKenzai Member
            Assistant Trainer7 months ago

            Haha some great advice from Patrick. Hindu philosophy would back that up! Loved the post too. And we're hard wired to respond to crying babies so you must do what you have to do.


              Watson J.Watson J.Kenzai Kettlebell 2 | Day 21 (Member)
              7 months ago

              Like always = strength comes from activity...not rest

              Mosquito net?

              Go Jenny Go!


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