March is Meditation Month. It’s a great time to begin a sitting practice or to come back to a neglected cushion. I’ll be offering occasional posts from and about my own practice. May they be of benefit.
“Do you feel that tingling? Right below the surface of your skin? That tingling is more who you are than bones or blood or skin.” ~ Kelly Stine
Mindfulness practice, at its core, is a gratitude practice. If I really take it in, if I really pay attention to life, it’s breath-taking. Amazing. If I really notice the world, I cannot help but be grateful (for all of it, even lost earrings and taxes and reality TV).
Most of the time, though, we just blithely move through our days without noticing how flipping incredible the world is. Mostly, we’re outrageously casual about the miracles that are unfolding in and around us. Strawberries in February? Of course. Airplanes that can get us to the other side of the world in a day? Sure, but does it have WiFi? The warm roughness of my best friend’s hand? Nice, but did he take out the trash? The fizzy, bubbling-over feeling of a sneeze. Yeah, but it’s such a goofy sound.
Mindfulness helps me truly receive the amazingness of living ~ even when it’s difficult or painful. Being fully present to what is on offer in the moment, is an act of waking up to the gifts of life. I mean, right now I’m wearing a sweater that was made in Iceland! Iceland, people! And there are pine trees and butterscotch (I don’t even like butterscotch, but still!) and Japanese Wallpaper. Incredible.
And then there is the mystery. What about that tingle just under your skin? What is that? Is it what keeps my heart beating year after year? Is it what makes my breath and blood flow? Or is it something else? Is that tingle what makes me me?
Out in the world, in my day, mindfulness helps me fully receive the gifts of living. The tangible, present moment wonderment of smells and tastes and color and sound. The amazement of art and technology and Nature.
And on my cushion, I can feel that tingle. On my cushion, I can feel the enormous mystery of it all. That which we can see and touch and taste and that which is invisible and we know nothing about.