Quieting That Inner Voice One Breathe At A Time: Meditation

breathingI wake up every morning and do probably the greatest thing ever known to man, but barely paid attention to.  I breathe. Don’t get me wrong, I breath all through the night, and indeed all through the day, but nothing like I do when I sit down on my meditation mat.  It is like being in a place where time has stopped, and nothing exist, not even myself.  I know that sounds scary, and crazy as a loon, but in actuality it is the most peaceful and serene feeling, I’ve ever experience while conscious.  To be in the moment, where I’m not worried about paying bills, I’m not concerned with how to keep growing personally, and not one thought goes to all of the destruction and pain in the world.  It is just me and the beautiful, amazing, underrated, clear, vibrance of silence.

Hard to believe the kid who once couldn’t sleep, because his inner voice just never stopped talking, now has found contentment in the moments between the noise.  Growing up in a household where the television was King, radio fought like a gladiator soliciting for our attention, and the outside world was like a minefield just waiting to explode, because the mind was always working on those things we as young people pay so much attention to:  avoiding daily joke sessions, avoiding the school bully, avoiding the after school fight, the puppy love crush, chasing sexual experience, do I fit in, etc…  I didn’t realize what I know now, that voice meant well, but it was destructive, and the older I got the louder the voice grew, the less sleep I got, and the more I thought this voice was just my own personal guide.  It was a part of me that  was supposed to be here, guiding my every decision, working out all of my issues and problems, cheering me on as I crossed every finish line.  It was “me”.  The me that identified with the outside world, and believe the voice that said my happiness came from other people, or something only the outside world could provide.

It wasn’t until I started doing yoga that I could actually notice that I even had an inner voice, it wasn’t until I started meditating that I realized that my inner voice needed to be quiet, and it wasn’t until I felt the inner silence that I understood the beauty of stillness.  I would sit on my meditation mat, practicing for the moment over and over again, that would allow for the stillness to arrive, as the my inner voice was going on and on about what has to be done, what hasn’t been done, who’s going to do it, the latest controversy, what happened days, weeks, or even years ago.  Moving my attention from the noise to the subtle sensation of the breathe again and again.  Watching with the minds eye, my chest rising and falling, my lungs full to empty, the sensation of oxygen flowing through my nose, to the back of my throat, all the way down to just below my belly button.  One breathe at a time, watching the subtle body, and then it happen.  The voice I have known all of my life, everyday I can remember, it was there, now was silent, and the most beautiful feeling caressed my entire being.  It was heaven is the best way I can describe it.  If peace had a feeling this was it.

I would like to be able to tell you that every time I get on my mat, that this inner stillness comes my way, but I would be telling you a story.  I would like to be able to say that meditation has distance me from avidya (Sanskrit yoga term that means ignorance or delusion), but again I would be telling you a story.  I can only tell you that learning to silence that voice through my daily practice of yoga and meditation has changed my life in so many ways, all from which I am grateful.  Instead of the constant noise of the voice, I get the inner peace, feel the inner love, from the source of all things, one breathe at a time.

To have a garden, one must be willing to plant the seed.

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