The days count in the title is how many days since NYS, where I live, began seriously shutting down society and implementing social distancing. The time when we may measure life having changed fundamentally.
When your meditation practice focuses on the breath, you start to get more intimate with this essential bodily function. We breathe in and out and we modulate the air coming and going while we watch it. An unconscious act we make more conscious during the meditation.
Given that the disease sickening and killing so many is respiratory, my focus on this act of breathing, taken for granted, is understandable. To lose this is to experience horror because it is so fundamental to life itself, and death. But I’ve seen a little thing you can observe with breathing when you meditate. It’s a little silence at the end of each out breath, a conscious space you can make where calm resides.
It works like this: you breathe in, you exhale, and then you pause. There is a moment you can do this without gasping, a moment where it feels like time stops. If your meditation is counting breaths, this may be where you silently say the number to yourself. If you invoke the three Buddhist Refuges (Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha: Awakened One, Truth or Teachings, and Community) as part of your routine, this may the space where you take your refuge by saying inwardly ‘I take refuge in the Buddha, dharma, sangha’. If you have a prayer or mantra, it may live here, in this bit of silence.
Lest I drift into a New Age quagmire, let me say that having a little space you can always access gives us the ability to be calm for an infinitesimal moment. Try and remember this when the weight of the world is a bit much.
That’s all I got today, a bit of silence.