A Starting Place

Breathing in, I calm my body…

Breathing out, I smile…

Dwelling in this present moment…

I know this is a wonderful moment.

I am reading Thich Nhat Hanh’s “Living Buddha, Living Christ.” A blog post to follow later on that. I’m only a couple chapters in, anyway. But in the first few pages, Nhat Hanh provides a meditation on how to come to the present moment and touch mindfulness. I’m not very good at meditation. Actually, I suck. Bad. So I rarely even try. The few minutes of breathing at the beginning of most yoga classes is about the most meditation I get. I’ve never been able to quiet my mind. One reason I love yoga is that it gives you the opportunity to try to quiet your mind. Whether or not you accomplish it is a different story.

Recently I decided to try to start meditating more regularly. Ha… Okay, I’m going to try to start meditating. In the process of reading this book, I discovered this meditation. I read it a couple of times. It felt easy and natural. I know that if I am going to meditate I have to start with a mantra or saying. I need something to focus on. The second two lines really spoke to me. I have an extraordinarily hard time staying present. It is one thing I just cannot do.

Today, before my home practice I took a few minutes to sit and breath and meditate. I repeated the meditation with each breath, inhaling and exhaling deeply. I mostly stayed focused on my breath and the meditation. Mostly. It’s a start, right? It wasn’t more than a couple of minutes but I continued my deep breathing and the repetition of the second two lines throughout my practice. When I was done, I felt a tiny bit more centered and calmed than after most of my home practices. What a great place to start.

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