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Seemingly Quiet

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.

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