I prepared my meditation space with the material and a pair of scissors. I started the music, set the timer so I didn’t have to keep looking at a clock, and I sat at the table and got myself centered. The first cut into the fabric is always the most fun because it’s a beginning. It tells me that the process has begun and there’s no turning back.
As I began cutting I started around the shapes on the fabric I began to feel a bit uneasy. I wasn’t uncomfortable in the chair; it was a feeling in my chest. I’ve asthmatic and recognize the tightening in the chest, but this was different. It was an acute experience because it would come and go and I was puzzled. I proceeded on my meditation paying close attention to my breath.
It wasn’t long before I had this realization that as I was cutting the fabric, if I was cutting around a tight space I was holding my breath. I used to go bowling on a regular basis as a kid and this resembled when I would throw the ball, hold my breath, and wave my arms hoping that the ball heading for the gutter would be a strike. I guess we can always hope for the best.
Proceeding to cut the fabric and being aware of my breath allowed me to be more open to other sensory stimulation. I’m playing a CD of Asian Meditation music and I came to a track that sounded like water running and in that moment thoughts from my past came in like a wave.
I began thinking about friends and family from years ago and I noticed that a smile came across my face. I noticed it because I felt the muscles in my face shift and it relaxed me. It also invited me to continue with these memories as a means of trying to be with the good times and the bad in my past. It was an open space to explore the impact of those who have crossed my path and the experiences we shared. Breathing just allowed me to expand the exploration of my memories in a nonthreatening way so my soul felt safe.
It’s obvious how important breathing is, but it’s the breath that can alter your consciousness. It’s the breath that lets you know if you’re in the present. It’s the breath that creates a rhythm as you march along the meditation trail.