It was after midnight and I was alone in the house except for my sleeping daughter who was 3 – she is now 37. There was a noise outside. At the back door was an intruder with a male Rottweiller on a lead. The young man was drunk. He smashed a pane of glass in the door, put his hand through the hole, and let himself in. At the time we had a large Pyrenean Mountain dog called Cindy. She growled at the Rottweiller and I put her on her lead. To my relief and surprise, Cindy squared up to the Rottweiller but; we both lost ground as the Rottweiller and his owner snarled and advanced upon us.

I retreated slowly upstairs, making a stand at the top. The stairs were a bottleneck and, to my relief the Rottweiller and his owner stayed on a landing half way up the stairs.

I was content with this stand off and I was not able to improve upon it. So I decided that I might as well meditate. I assumed a cross legged pose at the top of the stairs, keeping a wary eye on the opposition. After some minutes I was encouraged that the Rottweiller yawned and the young man’s intoxicated bravado was subsiding. The crisis had passed.

After a further interval he asked me if I did yoga and offered to lend me a book on the subject. Eventually he went, with his dog.

Sometimes circumstances cannot be constructively improved upon by reacting to them and meditation, i.e. doing nothing, can be a way of accepting a situation. Acceptance makes change possible. It was Oscar Wilde who said, ‘to do nothing is the most difficult thing in the world’.

A recollection from Michael, Cheshire. First published in the WCCM UK Newsletter Summer 2012