As I sit in meditation on retreat, watching my breath rise and fall, I notice myself getting bored. My mind runs with this boredom and spins a web of doubt – What am I doing here? Just sitting, my back aches and nothing is really happening. Will something happen! I label the thoughts: Thinking, Doubt, Allowing. Return to the breath. My mind brings up an image for me –
I am sitting on my parents couch just a few months ago holding my newborn baby nephew on my lap. Watching his face and his subtle movements. I was completely content.
The thought arises: I could have stayed like that forever. Holding my nephew. Watching this little miracle. Perfectly content. I label the thoughts: Thinking, Contentment, Allowing.
My attention returns to my breath. I inhale and remember that the in-breath is a life giving miraculous event. I exhale this life giving breath and feel how fragile my life. Inhale, miracle – Exhale, awe. Boredom now gone.
At some point, early in my life, I stopped looking inside to connect with that which is miraculous and awesome. It all seems to exist outside of me, so what can I possibly learn from watching myself. Through practice I am re-learning to see my body and being as an amazing landscape. The backaches and the feelings of relief all have a degree of wonder to them. An endless banquet of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual sensations inspiring compassion, wisdom, and presence.
When most of us were babies, people held us and gazed at our faces in wonderment. Why should that be any different now?