Such a morning this has been, beginning in the promise of darkness, for rising before dawn is to witness the laying away of the dark for the light.
I sit meditation, as I do every morning; I have come to rely on this hour of silence. This morning is not a sitting of insight but of “monkey mind,” one thought tumbling on top of another. It is a busy stillness. When the timer goes off, I mutter something to the effect of “that was difficult—again.”
Yet, something nags so I sit a moment in review. Ah, yoga dropped in near the end of my sitting, specifically my Peggy Cappy Easy Yoga for Arthritis DVD. I have owned it for three years; so far, it has been mostly a good intention.
The yoga DVD dropped in during a moment of open awareness meditation, meaning my focus was on neither emotion nor sensation but on pause, a true gap between thoughts, before the emotion returned.
For some time now I have been sitting with the feeling of bittersweet, for the sensations of loss and gratitude swirl just beyond me. In this particular morning, I am in search of its energy but eddies of distraction, proven pools of fear, bring me to the surface of my breath, entangled in old story lines.
Once again, I do not reach the pure energy at the core of bittersweet. It has been like this for a while, this sitting or almost sitting with bittersweet. In open awareness, I sense the light of the day, and in drops the thought of the yoga DVD.
It is not a surprise for one of the effects of this last lupus flare is a significant reduction in my physical activity, in particular taking my beloved morning walk. It is still a possibility but it is not benefitting me, as it once did. My joints ache to stretch but not to pound the ground, no matter the distance. In fact, I have spent the last two days recovering from a stroll around Waverly Pond.
And just as the Waverly story line started up, my meditation timer went off. That is what I remember from my morning’s sitting.
The day is now more light than dark but there is not yet a sunrise. Feline EmmaRose is sitting meditation in the bedroom doorway. She Who Must Not Be Disturbed knows I will remain in the bedroom until otherwise directed.
As I have rested for two days, there is no body rebellion this morning. The physical stillness of sitting meditation is always a physical boon, for in meditation the body is allowed to awaken gradually. The yoga DVD is next to the decade-old television set. There is nothing for it except to insert the disc.
I am familiar with most of the yoga poses, and Peggy Cappy encourages individual adaptation, much like Pema Chodron suggests meditation position adaptation. Yet, foremost in my mind is to stop the yoga poses at the first sign of discomfort. The thought is reminiscent of my early days with meditation.
For the first time in three years, I participate in the entire yoga session. As with the first time I stayed sitting meditation, I do not note the length of time nor its passing.
As I look out my bedroom window, the sun is high in the sky, shimmering off the leaves of the willow. An aquamarine vine snakes its way along the lower limb of a Ponderosa pine, reaching for the willow.
I remember many mornings, distant now but not really that long ago, when morning meditation was hit and miss, anything but integral to beginning the day. Then, I was determined to make each day fit my plan, and each day began with a morning walk. I smile.
A familiar feeling of surrender washes over me, embraced with total acceptance. The darkness of loss gives way to gratitude for mornings such as these.