A MEDITATION BEGINS
Rising in the dark morning, he begins to lift his chest. The day is a newborn flash, the breath is new and alive. The sun has yet to kiss his face, the chores and explorations of the day have not begun. He doesn’t live in New York, he doesn’t live in America, he has no name. It is the time of the morning before knowing. The time before the mind splits into the ten thousand directions.
Like an eagle, she rises early and soars above the day with piercing vision. Darting down she catches her prey by the neck, lifting it into the air. She intends to hunt down the ten thousand thoughts before they sliver away. But instead of a sharp claw and a hard beak, she hunts with breath and posture.
“This is a simple meditation,” he says. He gets a mat and a pillow and sits on the floor so his knees sit below his hips. Sometimes he crosses his legs in front with the pillow under his sits bones. His back is upright and determined, but not rigid. His chest is lifted and open, but not proud. His head is lifted to the ceiling by a string. His chin drops and feels relaxed. The shoulders slide back and down, like a cascading stream. His eyes are either closed or just very soft. This is posture.
She begins to watch the breath kiss the very tip of her nose. She can imagine the breath streaming past all her little nose hairs before entering the nasal cavity. For a minute or two this is the meditation. The thoughts and distractions begin already...”I’m so tired…I don’t want to go work… my neck is soo stiff!”
He observes the thoughts. “Stop thinking! quiet!” He observes the observation. He observes the observation of the observation. He is in a hall of mirrors…with patience and sure intention, he returns the focus to the breathing.
The breath dives into the throat. The breath sinks into the chest. The breath falls beneath the diaphragm. “I’m bored. I want to check my email….quiet. Concentrate…I’m so lazy…don’t judge. Don’t judge…sssshhhhh…” The breath bounces into the belly.
Every inhalation, she envisions white light streaming in. Every exhalation, she envisions dark smoke billowing out of the body. Every breath, he repeats a silent mantra,
Her focus is on the breath and especially on the sensation of the breath expanding and contracting her lower belly. Her body starts to get achy. She wants to move her legs. He wants to stretch his back. He wants to crack his neck. He doesn’t though. She won’t though. She will not because she knows it will be a never ending game. One impulse changes to another. The minute she moves her knees she knows she will then have to move something else. “Just one last movement?!” But it never ends. Knowing that a silent and still body is a fine temple for a quiet mind, they remain still.
Yesterday she sat for ten minutes. Today he sits for twenty. Next month she sits for an hour. Lately they have been using alarm clocks, in time they will just ‘know’ when the meditation is finished. Sometimes they may light candles and incense, or put meditation music on, but usually it is just silent. They do not depend on anything outside for help. Nor do they try to push away the outside noises. The firetruck is part of the meditation. The crying baby is not a distraction. The meowing cat is no excuse for self dialogue. The meditation is about becoming one with all things through concentration. This is not a selective process.
Some days his meditation is smooth and peaceful. Some days his brain is like a young buck that will not be tamed. So he becomes the brain whisperer. Gently and softly, he nudges the brain, encouraging the release of the thoughts and dialogue. He never scolds, he never accuses. He just directs.
She finishes the session with a bow to her inner self. With her mind now quiet, she takes the opportunity to set some intentions for the day…”May I be happy today..may I feel calm today…may I be compassionate towards others…and may I get that new job!” Most of all she is thankful. Thankful to herself for getting up early. Thankful to herself for sticking with the meditation. Thankful to herself for being alive…
They will do this again tomorrow. Will you join them?