My brother came by to deliver New York magazine and pick some kale. As we chatted about nothing much an alarm went off in my nose. Some odors don't require a keen sense of smell. It wasn't a direct hit but Had got skunked.
“What happened?” I asked as I casually moved us outside.
“The cat wanted to go out early this morning so I opened the slider for her. An hour or so later she came back to the bedroom and was acting really strange. I got up and there was a skunk in the living room by the door. I moved towards it slowly and opened up the other slider and out it went.”
The cat got sprayed just enough to lovingly rub the scent on to Had.
He was on his way to get hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. That's what humans use when they don't want to sit in a tub filled with tomato juice. A couple hours later he came back for a sniff test.
The nose has a way of ignoring skunk scent after a while. I know this for fact because Georgia has been sprayed twice. The mind steps in and soothes the nose by reminding it of similar scents like Heineken in a bottle or maybe wafting smoke from a Dead show back in the day. Did I ever say "This beer tastes like skunk piss”? If not me someone did. Was skunk weed bad pot or just odiferous? Eventually the smell doesn't seem so bad, it starts to loose its potency, then again, on Had, it hadn't. Back to tub.
Fortunately Had is Summer Retired, no longer spending hours with the public under a hot sun. Luckily he isn't a yoga teacher either. What if Spooky got misted? She sleeps on my head most of the time. Chances are I would get used to the scent but my fellow practitioners might not. If ever a test there was to let thoughts, sounds and smells pass by without attachment this would be a doozy.
Pratyahara encourages us to ignore the mental chatter instigated by internal and external sensations or discomfort, and it takes practice. Like bad smells, this chatter will inevitably dissipate if we let it.
Admittedly I find the whole incident pretty funny and Had is used to me laughing at misfortune. It's good for the stomach muscles.
Ironically I’ve introduced all my classes this week with a quote by Shunryu Suzuki, “In zazen, leave your front door and your back door open. Let thoughts come and go. Just don't serve them tea.” It's a reminder to stay focused in meditation.
However, rather than leave the doors open I would suggest just leaving them unlocked and spread a little Skunk Begone around the house first.
Namaste- Had's skunk smell is gone HOORAY!