Home again and again
I went to my hometown Berlin the other day to visit my dad and my mom. As I was driving through the city I saw a woman just walking down the street and I had this profound and crushing feeling of being home. It was like an immediate recognition without words or description. But, it wasn't me recognizing home it was home recognizing me. Like the street itself or the air or the woman's posture or the smell or taste or something recognized me for an instant and I fell into eternity. Overwhelming emotion poured out. I remained weepy, even heaving in a wonderful grief just letting the tears flow. These are precious moments. I know we all have them in our ways. That feeling of being exactly where you're supposed to be. It's so gratifying and peaceful. The bright Stillness.
This brings me to meditation, zen calls zazen. The practice of sitting down and not doing anything. Just watching both the inner world and the outer world, but without discrimination (no judging or comparing etc.). Just letting it all pass by. Just sitting as our true home, right here and right now. When thoughts come up, we just let them pass by and vow to come home again and again. It is a practice and 10,000 things are always trying to drag us away from home. That's the challenge, can I let it pass by in zazen and in life and just be here now? It's very simple and at the same time very difficult for most of us.
So, find a comfy spot and take a few minutes and do nothing. Right now. Sit up straight as you can comfortably. Sit on the floor or in a chair or even lie down. It's weird at first, I felt like I was doing it wrong for a long time. Notice when you're thinking, it's okay, let it pass. Try not to judge yourself or your thoughts, not bad or good, let them pass by. Just sit at "home" let everything pass by. Amen.
A wonderful practice to help concentration is focus on your breath, as it comes in and goes out. (that strikes me as funny right now because that's the Hollywood version of the delivery room, we're all having babies) anyway, feel your body, feel the air come in and go out. Follow your breath. Our breath is what binds us to our home, gives us life.
Another practice is to focus on the out breath. Sort of count in your head through each out breath as it leaves, like a drawn out "one............" through the whole out breath, then breath in and out-- "two........" etc. up to ten. Then start at one again. The breath helps anchor us to this moment, anchors us home. If you loose track, go back to one and if you find yourself on a train of thought, first try not to judge, then just go back to one.
Do it everyday. Try it once. If you read this blog, something has awakened you already so just come home again and again make it a practice all day everyday. After all here we are.