I sit on my black Zafu filled with buckwheat hulls. It is six am. My back is straight. My hands rest on the top of my thighs. I breath in and to myself I say rising. As I exhale I say falling. This is my anchor, what I return to over and over as I watch my thoughts rise up, dance around and take me to another place outside my small little office. The thoughts continue to rise up then fall back as I note that once again I am thinking. I feel my muscles tighten a little in my hips. I feel my breath constrict a bit in my throat. I hear the cars speeding out on the main road and the crickets singing in the overgrown garden. I note these and return back to my breath. Thoughts about work circle in and I feel my shoulders tense and rise up. I feel my mid section tense. I note thinking. I note anxiety. I go back to my breath rising and falling. I wonder if I remembered to turn on the meditation timer. I feel the impulse in my arms to reach forward to check. I note the tightness and go back to my breath rising and falling.
I remember that the moment when I become aware I am thinking, tensing, planning is the moment when I am wake to what it present. I remember the teachings of holding compassion for the thoughts, the planning, the distractions and the old hard-wired habits. These are tools that help me learn and cultivate mindfulness. These are the tools that create spaciousness in me and open my heart. The struggle to stay present is a tool, it is part of what makes me human.
I feel my mind settle in with my breath rising and falling and then the bell rings three times. I feel a little more spacious, a bit more open. I bow three times, once to take refuge in the Buddha, once to take refuge in the Dharma and finally to take refuge in the Sangha. I rise up and begin my day.
May you coming day be filled with peace.~Kira