The top of the inhalation… the bottom of the exhalation–

The top of the inhalation is a fold, the bottom of the exhalation is a cut. The fold returns the breath to its downward course, the cut extinguishes it. The cut is the surprise of death, the cleanest mark of impermanence. The beginning of the inhalation is the first dawn, the very edge of the cosmos’s beginning.

Attentive breathing–each asymmetrical, open circle; each twisted, pleated, unfinished–dramatizes the entirety of life, mine and any other’s, and this so loudly in the surprise of feeling unhanded. For the top of the inhalation does not come quite when one would anticipate its coming but early, late, or with a jolt. And the bottom can come hollowed, like a gasp, or hallowed, like a guest. The cavity of the body gives as much as it is given; lets as much as it is let; attunes as much as attempts. There is no more effort than there is effortlessness, no more renting than being rent, no more the delicious luxury of this than the wonted necessity of the unseen veil.

Breathing while observing, while feeling oneself breathing, is sweeter than spring and more delicate. It is love of self except it is also its other. The fold is seeing oneself turn, the cut is seeing oneself off. Or missing the moment completely.

The rigor of meditation practice

There is a rigor involved in meditating regularly that calls me back to meditate well before dawn in spite of the passing desire to stop or the urges to make an exception today. The rigor of a meditation practice emerges only for the one who, like the Pyrrhonian skeptic, would not live according to dogma. Dogma sets down grooves and shows the way ahead; a life without dogma makes no concessions and accepts no metaphysical supports.

Thus I do not claim that the aim of meditation is to have no thoughts at all or that it is to reach the divine or that it is achieve peace of mind or that it is to bring about something else entirely. For me, meditation’s aim is an open question, not one to be decided or insisted upon and certainly not a question to be begged. Its aim may arise while meditating–or it may not. Moreover, the means by which one meditates, quite apart from the practical matter of whether one is seated or standing or walking, are not to be taken as givens; they are essays or experiments and typically exercises as much in learning something unfamiliar as in the exhibition of courage. Other risks may be noted in passing: all the mornings I simply go through the motions with the result that meditation has become a task or a ticked-off item on a list rather than an activity; all the moments of laziness or lack of vigilance evinced in certain tedious lines of thought.

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Moon is sun: Storm meditation

An opening revealing moon in morning. Sun is moon and fog is distance. Wind churning, churning world, sun returning as moon. Moonwinds churn, turning earth, returning in thickness, white luminescence.

Sitting, breathing, enveloped, revealed. Revealed? Revealing moon; revealing light, lavender, lavendered light: lightening lavender, paling hill.

Meditative jewelry: Jewelry that resonates with life

Yesterday I wrote about a relatively new social group on the historical stage: open-minded, self-reflective individuals who are seeking they know not what through the regular practice of meditation. Today, I’d like to explore what led Alexandra and me to create Meditative Jewelry.

Inspired by life in rural Appalachia, Alexandra’s collection is conceived in that fertile space in which meaning is harmonized with style, quietude with clarity; the collection can be viewed on her Etsy page.

Meditative Jewelry

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