Ingredients 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

10.31.13 Good Grief

I have a daily meditation practice. Me. She of the get-up-and-go mornings. I rise in the dark (hotly anticipating the end of daylight savings time) and sit on a yoga blanket on the chilly floor of my office, neck wrapped in a scarf to ward off evil drafts, legs folded like a pretzel, hands in my lap, eyes closed. And there I sit for the better part of an hour, trying to empty my mind of thoughts or at least to avoid following the relentless train of them that wants to threaten this early peace. It's not easy but occasionally, as I focus on the rise and fall of my breath, the past recedes entirely and so does the future. Then I am left with the moment, which is inevitably free of...everything.

And yet. More often than not, the second I close my eyes and begin, an enormous wave of grief rises from deep inside, as if from some bottomless well of sorrow. It is not attached to thought but more like an involuntary spasm. Tears stream down from my closed lids. I sit with it. Keep my breath steady and calm. Because that is what we are learning to do in this MBSR course. To abandon thought, to relinquish judgment, simply to observe. It passes but when I am done meditating my mind often returns to this grief that dwells within. Will it follow me forever? I picture it like a vine that has grown over the bronchi in my lungs, like the Virginia Creeper that twines around the trees upstate. They coexist, but sometimes it looks like a contest to survive.

Tagged — loss