Earthly seasons mirror the flow of our lives. Spring is a birth, a renewal and first green. Then the haze of Summer settles like a blanket, all heat and glare; emotional tidal waves crash on the shore, and the heart beats the fleeting seconds away. The slow fade into Autumn blushes with myriad hues and scents, swirling slowly in the golden light cast by the setting sun. Leaves burn bright in their swan song before bowing to the ground in their final hour. The last few leaves seem to linger forever, like beacons against the inevitable, until one day they are simply gone, and all that remains are bare branches cutting jagged veins across the sky. Winter languishes. The body aches for stillness, muscles tight against the seeping cold, yet the mind races, trying to reconcile the previous cycle before a new one begins. Winter forgets the ease of seasons past, stirring anxiety and restlessness in the mind.
So life is- we explode into being in a flurry of emotions and confusion, burning bright before we understand how to wield our flame. We harness our light and move forward across the ever-changing landscape, until we arrive at the end, burgeoning with wisdom and experience. The common thread through the seasons is the self. Habits and situations may drastically change, but the entirety of our lives is spent with our selves. Meditating is a compass on the path of life, and the path is the breath. When we close our minds to external interference, we open ourselves immeasurably to the infinite multitudes of the self. Just as roots grow into the Earth as deep as a tree’s branches grow high, meditating allows us to balance the ego and the material world with the inexplicable planes that exist inside ourselves.
Experience yourself and you have experienced true existence.
Finding a block or a blanket to prop your hips on, and take a comfortable seat somewhere quiet, away from phones, TVs, and the like. Sukhasana (criss-crossed legs) is an easy place to rest, finding the spine extended from the hips in one long line. Resting the palms on the knees either face down or up, close the eyes and begin to focus only on the breath. Allow the inhale and exhale to come naturally, (no Ujjayi breath) and let the mind begin to settle. Thoughts will come in; acknowledge each one and allow them to pass through the stage of your mind, entertaining only the focus on the breath. Setting small goals will ease the mind into sitting for longer periods of time- try two minutes, then five, then seven. Frequency of practice will increase the ability to linger in seated meditation, and will also train the mind in stillness.