Sunday morning and the girls were at my Mom’s place. It was uncommonly quiet in the house, and equally serene and subdued outside.
I enjoyed a warm cup of tea and brought my mat out to the deck. The scenery was lush and the air, warm and still to the touch.
I came to my mat to meditate. I closed my eyes and began to follow my breath. Very quickly, I noticed the sweet sounds of the birds. Different bird calls responding to one another. It was quite beautiful and I was amazed by the amount and variation of birds in my vicinity. I wondered if that was always the case, and I was just too preoccupied to notice. After several minutes with my eyes closed, I began to sense direction and movement. I was aware of whether the birds were to my right or left, front or back. Whether they were moving away or toward me. The sounds became dynamic and energetic. I was so mesmerized with the birds, that it took a while to begin to notice the distant sounds of cars on highway 71. I could sense the cars moving closer as the sounds grew louder and then further as they became faint to the ear. In time, I connected more deeply to my own breath. A softness ensued in my body and skin. I felt as if I was a more cohesive part of my environment. I felt receptive, rather than scattered. I felt connected, rather than separate.
To my surprise, the seemingly quiet, serene morning transformed into a vibrant symphony of sound, movement and sensation. It was only when I sat with a sense of inner stillness that I awakened to the energetic and dynamic nature of my surroundings. It allowed me to notice what often goes unnoticed. It allowed me to connect to what often seems so separate. I wonder how often I connect to my experience and to the people around me with that level of awareness. I imagine not as often as I would like.
This, I believe, is so much of what my yoga practice is about. To find stillness within so that I can mindfully awaken to the pulsation of life. And from a place of stillness, to find a deeper sense of harmony in what often seems anything but harmonious.