My Meditation Breakthrough

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First and foremost, my most sincere gratitude to all who commented and signed on to meditate with me. It's been a few busy, late nights recently and I have been really, really tempted not to sit. But you all are out there too, being challenged with me. That helps. Also...seriously, I didn't even make the challenge last the full month, so I have no excuses to not meditate for 5 minutes.

Last night I had a lovely meditation break-through that I feel like I've been building up to all week. In my classes this week, I have led savasana differently than usual. I encourage students to pause before moving again. To spend a long time just thinking about moving their fingers or toes.

To just think and not to move. And then to play around with that strange, invisible line between thought and movement. "I will move my finger" does not a finger move. What flips that switch? What allows that change between "I will move my finger" and the actual movement of the finger? During the classes this week, I've had the students spend a long time between each transition from savasana to seated position (sukhasana). Just thinking about what it means to think about movement versus actually moving.

In  my meditation this week, I found myself "thinking" about breath a lot. Thinking: "Breathing out, I am breathing out; Breathing in, I am breathing in." This is a meditation technique talked about in Thich Nhat Hanh's "Breathe! You are Alive."

Yesterday, however, I began to think about how my thoughts about breathing, and directing my breath much like I would lead a yoga class, could directly tie into the idea of thinking about moving something having very little relation to the actual movement of the body. I can think "I am breathing deeply" but still breathe a shallow breath; the thought is not a command followed by the body. The thinking mind that thinks about directing the body or breath is separate from the unthinking mind which directs the central nervous system to movement. For example, right now there is no part of my "thinking" mind that is directing my fingers where to go as I type. But they go there anyway.

Yesterday, in meditation, I tried to tap into the part of the mind that does  tell the central nervous system to move the body. No words going through my head, no directives. Tell my body "Breathing out, I am breathing out; Breathing in, I am breathing in" but without words. Getting all of the words out of my head during my practice, even the ones that are related to breath. Even touching the edge of that vast part of my consciousness felt like my experience of the world could expand right there with it.

Oh, boy, I ain't there today. But there's tomorrow. And the next day. And... you're there with me, right?