In these times of great fear and anger over the inhumanity and chaos in our political system, we need to find some sort of calm and clarity inside ourselves or we’d want to turn away from the news or go nuts. If we don’t find some sort of clarity, how could we have any idea of what political or social actions to take? How could we help anyone else in need if we can’t help ourselves? So one thing I do is meditate, and treat myself and others as kindly as I can. If I can do nothing else, at least I can do that.
Close your eyes, take a comfortable breath, and simply listen. Many of us do this too infrequently. We don’t give ourselves a break to listen deeply to other people, to our own inner voice, or to the earth breathing. So give yourself a break. Give yourself this one moment. And listen for the earth breathing. Can you hear it?
Maybe it’s summer and a cool wind breathes in and out, cooling the day. Sometimes, it is a deep breath. Sometimes it’s very shallow. Sometimes, you can’t hear or feel it and you wonder if the earth is alive at all.
Then you hear bird calls, especially in the morning and at dusk. And bees and maybe other flying creatures.
Or maybe the rain comes. It starts slow and then increases in force, like a waterfall falling from the heavens to the earth, and it hits the roof like thunder and the earth rumbles and the quiet is drowned out.
Or the rain stops, and you hear voices. You hear lawnmowers and cars and sirens. Or music. Your neighbor plays the drums or plays his radio on high.
And you hear your own inner voice rumbling, “I want the music to stop. I don’t want these sounds to be part of my world.” You want it quiet. You hear your inner voice saying “no.” And the drumbeat and the voices and the sirens become noise to you. They become a threat. You feel close to being inundated with sound.
But instead of holding onto this “no,” instead of closing your ears, you simply listen. “No” is another sound, an inner breath. Another wind. Maybe another sort of music. Simply what is happening now. You hear it. You focus on hearing and feeling the breath. You say “yes” to the moment. You take it in. You return your attention to the breath. And then the “no” evaporates. All that’s left is the earth breathing in and out. All that is left is another sort of silence.
Instead of separating yourself from what is, listen. Become solely an awareness of the earth breathing, an awareness listening to, and hearing, everyone and everything. All there is ⎼ is one earth, one universe, breathing. And you grow stronger, strong enough to inhale and exhale and know how to respond to whatever occurs.
And your breathing calms and quiets. The universe calms and quiets. Just sit with that feeling for a moment.
When we take even a few moments to stop and simply listen, listen to the world and to our own thoughts and feelings, to listen with kindness and openness and with no rush to be judgmental, then our mind, our life, takes on this quality of depth and kindness. We are more likely to think more clearly and face adversity with more strength.
All this for just a few moments a day.