One recent morning I found myself with an extra hour. I generally meditate at night, which is strictly schedule driven. Given my druthers I would rather begin my day with meditation at sunrise. We do what we can.
This particular morning I decided to meditate. Were there socks to be paired and other chores to be done? But of course! The socks will be there this afternoon. We do what we can.
I have been using the same meditation for about three weeks now. In order to build my practice, I have been working towards a specific goal. Some days my practice is perfunctory and while I might find myself drawn in, I just as often find myself sitting for 10 or 15 minutes.
Whether it was because it was just before sunrise, or because the dogs were quiet, or because I remembered to use my nose oil, I found myself wanting to lose myself in myself this morning. It felt like I had some work to do. I practice with headphones. I had them on and walked across the floor to get the nose oil. The sound of my footsteps was incredibly heavy. THUD, THUD, THUD …. like a heartbeat that would scare you if you heard it in your ears, the sound of my footsteps was wrong. Shouldn’t there be more lightness to my step? If my footsteps are this heavy, well, then shouldn’t I feel more grounded? Because although I was feeling heavy, there was no grounding.
That became the theme of my meditation, finding the lightness and light. I had a hard time. I focused on bringing lightness to my breath, not forcing it, watching the breath pass by until it was slow and calm. Moving to the body, I brought the lightness into my seat, my limbs, my head. Turning off my inner dialogue was a challenge. I was narrating my meditation. Talking to myself. I just cannot be quiet! Oh dear, I think that’s the key word: quiet. When I teach I find myself filling empty spaces with word. I apparently do the same thing in my meditation practice. I focused more on my practice and the spaces between my inner dialogue got longer. I was in the quiet.
As my practice progressed, the light, the fire began to build in my belly. It built until I felt and saw it move up into my body level by level. There was palpable energy, my fingers were tingling. As I worked to bring the light back down into my belly and contain it, a little golden burst of light at midbrain with the word “TRUST”.
My teachers like to offer a word of advice before practice, it is a part of their lineage. Frequently, that word is “trust”. Trust in yourself. Trust in the practice. Trust that you will know what’s right.
As I focused on the light, I meditated on trust. It begins and ends with me. If I don’t trust myself, I can meditate until the chickens roost and the cows come home, and there will be no progress. If I don’t trust myself, how can I handle the decisions, big and small, that punctuate our lives? It seems it would be impossible to trust in your personal relationships if you don’t trust yourself.
Meditating has always been difficult for me. Changing the type of yoga I’ve been practicing has shifted the space in my body. Parayoga emphasizes a home practice including meditation. The change to my new practice helped shift space in my body. My posture shifted. The arthritis in my neck and shoulder have been quiet recently. I feel better, finally recovered from the second surgery. Meditating frequently had also begun to shift and clear some of the crud that creates weight on the soul.
As I practiced at home more and more frequently, I hit that first rough patch. Feeling tired, didn’t want to practice, my back hurt, too busy …. I made every argument with myself and won from time to time. Recently I’ve been sitting even if I am just holding space those days. Even that is progress. We do what we can, and try not to beat ourselves up even when the negative voice within wins out.
I have a relationship with my home practice now. It is becoming the foundation upon which I build my day. Throughout these past few months as this relationship developed there was a clear and definite honeymoon phase. Its gotten bumpier recently and I am working through it.
I am poking at some uncomfortable places within. I am uncovering samkaras that I did not know existed sometimes it surprises me and oftentimes it scares me. But its me, and I am going to keep sitting and following the light and hopefully one day I will know what it means.
But I think the light means me. I think the light within is the light that is all of us. And the light within me bows and honors the light within you.