Second to Last Class
This past classroom was again fully online. We all logged into the Zoom platform, our individual screens dotted the window like rows of TV’s stacked in a hive. A gathering of screens. We opened with a meditation and then some movement practice. The content of the meditations are less in my memory and more the doing of the practice, remains.
The importance of consistency. Choosing a practice that centers us, grounds us, or relaxes us. Any of the variations. Whether it is a silent meditation or a moving meditation, or simply noticing throughout the day. I flow through the sequence of class like a cloud in the sky. Behind my screen, I feel less intimidated. I open up and share. It seems the rest of the class feels similarly and many of us share this week.
Something has shifted over the past several days. I am calm and centered. I catch myself in awareness of my moods. My movement meditations have incorporated a routine that I’ve been practicing with Jim the past few days. Led by Mike Chang, it is a series of movements, chi exercises, breath work, and meditation to wake up the body.
By doing this in the mornings, I get connected to my body, waking it up quite literally by tapping every square inch of my body awake. It’s as if I am saying to my body, “Hey, there you are!” I give ‘em a good thump with a gentle fist or an invigorating open hand, “Good morning, sleepy head! Time to wake up!” And I get to know my body again; reacquainted with the tendons, muscles, joints, knots, and skin.
I am learning the art of relaxation. Ease. That is my new mantra. Finding ease in what I do and how I do it.
As the last class approaches this MBSR class, one significant result is greater awareness of my body and the feelings. Specifically, the sensations of anger are felt with greater detachment.
The other day, something occurred and suddenly, I felt this awful great gnawing hunger of pressure and fire in my chest. I recognized it and rode the wave of sensation. In the thick of it, I thought of how terrible this feeling was in the moment. How it seemed to override any semblance of hope and it was all I could feel. The well of hope and joy was dry, cold, and nowhere to be found and no matter what, I would be mired in this sticky, black tar that engulfed my heart for who knows how long.
This emotional fury that overtakes me is so dramatic, so intense, I get it now. The tumult of my emotional life makes sense now. I’ve been swept away in its waves, like a sailor in a shipwreck. Now, the anchor of mindful observation stakes me down and I have somewhere to stand.
None of this is possible without the practice of consistency. The eight weeks in class was an accountability practice: showing up weekly, sharing, participating, doing the homework, and keeping the practice close. After all, experience is the greatest teacher.
Give Thanks and Rejoice!
At the beginning of the course, Jody discussed that this was re-wiring the neural pathways and it really is! After doing the practices almost daily over a 2 month period, I feel a shift in perception, a shift in how life occurs to me.
It is now the end of March and I am lit with a creative power and energy. I am on fire! I am in motion, eating better on a whole food/plant based diet, more present in my daily life, and relationships are blossoming. I am creative, aware, present, and limber. Jim and I are moving to Austin next month, Spring is in the air, the beautiful pollination, all the snowflakes of seed and life that filter through the sun.
Thank you, MBSR. Thank you, Jody. Thank you, Natalia. What a treasure, what a gift you have shared with me. How I am blessed with this opportunity and by this learning. I am in love with life!
Header/Featured image source