Sunday, June 18, 2017

I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch

I wonder if being taught meditation is often handled like being sat as a baby  by people unaware of the patterns that get set up that may unfortunately follow some of us for a lifetime- learning how to hold ourselves in a position, to tolerate it since we don't have the skill to find our way in and out of it yet. At what point is a level shift confused for enlightenment, rather than what is actually a small step in a much larger process?

I let myself sit in silence with my dog on my roof as the day faded, a we took in the vastness of the sky that made if feel like my lungs had the vaulted ceilings of a cathedral. The air filling up this sudden space in my body poured like water against the back of my throat, inhaling like I was desperately thirsty. The presence of noise became so clear, something with too many discernable voices and sounds to be white noise. Rising up from the street level around my building, it so palpable I could feel the fabric, rather than just being an abstract way of talking about many overlapping sound waves. It reminded me of how different local microbes create distinctive flavors when fed to yeast and turned into bread with a specific personality, I could almost taste the nuanced flavor of my block in the sounds that I never realized were so present. My dog asked me to hold her as we surveyed our empire, her muscular body against me emanating a warm rosewater biscuit aroma - a smell her chest has always had - drowning in a decadent synesthesia as we breathed against each other and listened to the world under the opalescent bowl of the sky draining away the final few sunrays.

It might not have looked like the meditation I'm supposed to be practicing, but I am centered in my footsteps and still filled with more breath then I have even thought about in weeks. I often set the highest of standards for myself, and under the weight of my internal expectations forget that before I can even consider the possibility of running, I must first make sure I can pick my head off of the ground, my hands and my feet need to learn how they are available to support each other. And perhaps learning how to even take in stimuli, to receive love notes and information from sources unrelated to my immediate survival is really important before I can even fathom what it means to really listen to something or someone or myself. If the ability to receive is a crucial component of being able to listen, that finding spaces where I feel safe enough to let go of myself is a necessary requirement for meditation.

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