You see I have what Buddhists kindly call ‘monkey mind’. Personally it feels more like ‘feral cats on meth in a burlap sack mind’ but who am I to argue with Buddhists? What it means is that even when I’m sitting quietly I am still pondering whether Kim Kardashian got married for publicity or love, why people are allowed to have 20 children and whether the Germans will have to step in to save the European union. Like any other body part this amount of activity wears on the brain and, often, keeps stressful thoughts and cortisol levels elevated. In short, not a good thing.
The human mind was designed to think so believing that meditation is ‘not thinking’ is a bit off. What it is is focusing the mind and all its beautiful power on one thought, a mantra, a single word, or easiest of all (in theory!), your breath. For the most part, I go with my breath because my yoga experience has taught me ways to slow it, which relaxes the mind and body, and I sort of need that these days. Who doesn’t?
So here I am, the first thing every morning sitting in half Lotus on my chair, eyes closed. I breath in and out more and more slowly and deeply and sometimes I even pause at the top or bottom of each breath and in that dark quiet space inside I find a peace that is so welcoming and profound I want to stay for as long as I can. Which, of course, I can’t and that’s probably the point. Still, despite what the day may hold, my feral cat brain, the actions of others, this is the grounding I need. I press my hands together in prayer and bring them to my heart center, feeling my heartbeat, my breath moving throughout my body. Head bowed I whisper “Namaste” grateful for the divine that is in me and hopeful that I will recognize it in others. Namaste to you all.