What can we do? Breathe...
This article and 20 minute meditation (one in english and one in Spanish) are an entrance into a natural attention, equilibrium and energy for having the life we have and discovering the treasures already available to us.
A simple practice for navigating through the rest of the pandemic and getting ready for the different life that is already starting to arrive…
This pandemic has been scary and difficult. I see exhaustion, stress and numbness when I look at the faces around me. It’s not wrong to feel that way! This year of Covid has brought many pressures, day after day. You know how it feels when day after day you stub your toe when you get out of bed, and day after day you bump your head on the same low doorway? Eventually you get tired of it, and you go a little crazy or you go numb. At least for a while, that reaction is maybe an ok reaction. Sometimes a little avoidance and repression lets us keep going so we can do what we have to do.
Then conditions change, but we’re still stuck in tiredness and withdrawal from life. We continue to dim our mind and spirit.
This pandemic is already changing and soon we can expect a whirl of new activity and stimulation—we may be pulled into a fast moving, busy life. After the relief and excitement of things opening up and many choices suddenly becoming available, we will again be exhausted and stressed, trying to numb ourselves in order to cope.
What can we do?
Start where you are. Here. Your here. Something that is always here is your breath. So start with your breath. Without your breath you can’t live, right? So feel grateful for your breath, feel love for it. Develop an intimate friendship with it. You’ll be together for your whole life.
Will you give 20 minutes a day meeting your breath? Being with it? Giving it attention and really getting to know it? Form a trusting relationship with it. It’s a wonderful source of strength and support for you.Your life depends on it.
When you are close to dying, you can’t be sure who will be with you. Your spouse or child or dearest friend might be there, of course. But maybe they have to leave your room for just a few moments. And maybe that’s when you die. In those last few moments of your life, however, your breath is with you. Always and to the end! A wonderful and dependable companion!
Your breath, every inhalation and exhalation, is also a doorway into the ‘solitary brightness’ which is you. Remember what the verse about the solitary brightness says?
'There is a solitary brightness without fixed shape or form. It knows how to listen, it knows how to understand, it knows how to teach. That solitary brightness is you.’
What does it know how to listen to and understand? Your life. Your world. You.
People tell me they want to see this solitary brightness. They want to see for themselves whether they really are this solitary brightness. They say they can’t find it. So they ask, ‘Where do I look? How do I look?’ Asking those questions is great! It’s already the solitary brightness at work!
Just look right where you are. Feel what’s there where you are. You’ll notice that one thing right there is your breath. So breathe. Meditate with your attention and heart on your breath. Just 20 minutes a day. In a relaxed way. When you do this, you’ll begin to notice and enjoy and appreciate your breath at other times, too. At work and play and as you wake up and fall asleep.
And then the moment will arrive when you’ll see that your breath is not only the doorway to the solitary brightness, it’s also what’s on the ‘other side’ of that door. You’ll see it’s been here
on this side, too, all along. You’ll understand without words that this solitary brightness without fixed form is everywhere. It’s everything. It’s your breath. You’ll understand it’s you.