Here I sit upon a pew like cushion.
My feet have been freed from the confinement of the shoes that I once wore. My sense of smell has been intensified as he—the Master—ignites three incenses. My auditory is further awakened by that of Sanskrit chanting.
I continue to sit—feeling my body melt further and further into the earth—my breath becoming deeper with each inhale and exhale. My stomach slowly rising and falling. I breathe in—I breathe out.
I am unsure of how successful this session will be for my mind is already racing with sporadic thoughts. But I am here, in this space and I am not alone. Not only are there individuals within this same vicinity as me, but it is the beat of my own heart that solidifies the fact that I will never be alone.
Bringing myself to this space of complete awareness—in the here and now—I am ready to begin the practice of meditation. Over the course of several months, it is through this practice that has guided me to become the person that I want to be.
Mediation is the focus of love, the space within us where love resides—our heart. We bring ourselves into this space of love and direct that love to others around us.
Continuing to sit, I bring full awareness to this body—my body. My sitting bones have been rooted into the earth and the crown of my head is aiming north in hopes to touch the sky. My arms are gracefully placed within my lap—palms faced up ready to receive.
He—the Master—signifies the commencement of mediation through the sounding of a singing bowl.
As my lungs fill up, I quickly notice the expansion of my abdomen and diaphragm. This breath that I take is steady, even and fluid. It is directed to my heart center as I visualize the heart space expanding with the breath and the energy of the breath. I breathe in—I breathe out.
How long will I be able to continue living without a job—without income? Where will I have to live if I find myself soon to become evicted? Will I find that one person who is true to me? Am I in the present moment?
I bring myself back to the present moment—to the music that is coming from the corner of the room. I become conscious of my breath once again—I breathe in—I breathe out.
I continue to let the breath and energy fill the heart. I notice the heart space and all of the love that resides here.
Loving-kindness resides here.
Thoughts—scattered—alive—they fill my mind once again as frustration begins to settle into this body. I am no longer relaxed. I am no longer in the Now. I feel as though I am a bird trapped in a cage—longing to be released. Released from these thoughts.
I must bring my awareness back to this room, back into my body, back into this moment. Focus—I breathe in—I breathe out.
These thoughts that dwell in my mind are irrelevant at this time. This time right now, is for me—for me to find inner peace within myself. In less than forty minutes, I can address these concerns, but for now, I must focus solely on my breath.
Gathering myself once more, I retreat back into that initial feeling of being fully present—in this space, in this body. I begin to feel my breath become long and deep as it should be at this time. In a few short minutes, I find that those sporadic thoughts have now vanished—slightly.
I breathe in—I breathe out.
I am here. In this body. In this space.
I fall. Fall into a slight state of slumber as my head faintly nods to the front—to the side. My body has now completely melted into the Earth like that of an ice sculpture basking in a summer day’s field.
The sound of the singing bowls has once again returned to my vulnerable ear drums as it signifies the end of our meditation session. Is the time really up?
I bring my hands to hearts center and quickly rub them together, creating warmth that I will soon rub across my still closed eyes.
Gradually, I open my eyes and explore my once tranquil body. I squeeze my numbed feet and extend my legs and arms for a full body stretch.
I am relaxed, no longer haunted by those insignificant thoughts of my day-to-day life.
Have I found the inner peace that I came searching for? No, not fully, for meditation requires an abundance of practice. The biggest obstacle that one must overcome during this process is the stopping of the mind and being in the Now. We must come to terms that the world will go on without us—that those tasks will be there, waiting for us once we exit the mindset of meditation.
Pause. Be in the moment. Appreciate it. Embrace it. Live in it.
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Assistant Ed: Leace Hughes/Ed: Brianna Bemel