I sit hunched over on a meditation cushion.
Heart squeezed with an icy grip, my throat constricting, vision narrowing.
My fingers, placed gingerly palms outward on my knees, are trembling.
Anxiety, that old nemesis, presses down on my spine,
steals my breath and brings tears to my eyes.
For a moment I am engulfed in terror.
How am I back in this horror? How is its grip still so all-encompassing?
My chest threatens to explode with the pressure of its pounding red organ.
Or so it feels.
The people around me are gone, lost in the self-absorbed tunnel-vision of
My anxious mind.
And then I remember.
It’s just my brain. It’s in my head. My body sits here,
Surrounded by peaceful meditators.
Fans whir overhead, I am safe, healthy and strong.
This feeling will pass. And it does. Slowly, and painfully.
But it passes.
I straighten my shoulders and open my heart.
I breathe deeply and let the air fill me to the tips of my toes, and flow out.
I focus on the air passing through this fleeting moment, and the next.
This fleeting feeling, and the next.
Our joy is impermanent and to be cherished but released.
Our pain is impermanent and meant to be felt, and released.
I am honoured to learn this,
to careen out of my terror-spiral,
to breathe into the beautiful morning and
cherish with hopeful grace another day.
Author: Keeley Milne
Editor: Alli Sarazen