This week in meditation, like many other weeks, has been about focusing. There is a song by School of Seven Bells where the chorus repeats the phrase “Allow yourself to be breathing.” Though breathing is automatic, often times my breathing becomes very shallow and hearing those lyrics made me realize that I am barely breathing, and doing so on a regular basis. The aforementioned lyric caused me to wonder if that is my natural rate of breathing or if I am in some way not allowing myself to just “be breathing.”
A couple times during meditation, I made a point of taking the time to inhale as deeply as my lungs would allow me to. While inhaling deeply I focused not on the breath, but on the sensation of the air passing through my nose, into my lungs, and creating expansion. With a deep and filling inhale it is tempting to just release the pressure in a quick and sweeping motion. However, I tried to be as mindful of my exhalation as I had been during my inhalation, paying great attention the way my muscles, tendons, and flesh moved and changed during this process. Focusing so intently on the perpetual motion of your own body can be a bit unsettling.
I have also been trying to concentrate on my breath while also being mindful of my surroundings, which can feel overwhelming if you are outside for a walk. Processing and trying to notice each intricate message being sent to your brain through your sense organs is a large task. Recognizing the extreme amount of information, I started creating my own boundaries by walking with my eyes closed, breathing through my mouth instead of my nose to alleviate smell, and putting my fingers in my ears, so that each sense might have a chance to showcase itself. It probably looked a little strange as I was walking around my neighborhood, but it was an interesting experience. My favorite sensation to notice is the light lapping of wind against my face when I am walking with my eyes closed.
Come join us this Tuesday, and every Tuesday for meditation beginning at 6:15. http://www.centerofsymmetry.com/