16 May 2017
Quiet the mind and the soul will speak. ~Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati
I value contemplative practices. Yoga and mediation have a strong hold on me. l’m enchanted by the dynamic spaciousness of a quiet, calm mind. A place that, for me, can be utterly elusive.
I begin meditation with several deep belly breaths. These breaths are a wonderful, expansive welcome, like opening the front door and receiving a warm greeting. Yet, despite the years that I’ve been sitting down to meditation, I can entirely forget to center and ground myself this way. Instead, I barge through the door laden with armfuls of grocery totes and daily baggage. Or I find myself, five minutes later, still pacing the door stoop.
And so it is then that I remember. To round my belly with breath. To feel the oxygen sifting into my cells. To begin again.
This is practice. This is why meditation is referred to as ‘a practice’. It is always, naturally and inherently, beginning again.
Often a sense of restlessness or unease reminds me that I have been too much on the surface and that the deeper drifts of life are calling me. Nudging me to loosen my grip on the wheel, ease off the gas, turn onto the less traveled road in order to connect with the values I hold and the intentions I hold dear.
Those small voices are urging me to return and create space.
Many times when I sit, instead of a still pool, my mind is wind-tossed and tumbled. But each time I begin again, I’m practicing. Beginning again is a muscle, a resolve that strengthens with each use.
The contemplative practice does not yammer or yell, shout or shove. It waits, patient, quiet, unassuming and powerful. Always willing to help me find my way. Always ready for me to begin again.
Is there an urge within you?