Meditation as Still Life

I have been meditating on and off since May 2010. My physiatrist who treats me for fibromyalgia suggested that I meditate twice a day for 30 minutes, once in the morning after waking and once in the evening before dinner. I had been resisting the idea, and then I thought, Why not? What have  I got to lose?

Unlike my morning meditation in bed, I sit in a rocking chair that used to belong to my mother-in-law Sofie: ornate dark wood with silver-blue satin cushions on the seat and the back. After sitting, I drape a fleece blanket over my lap, turn on my phone’s timer, let my hands lie in my lap, close my eyes, and begin.

Many thoughts fly through my head: what I am going to write about, things I was doing during the day, what I am going to eat for dinner. To go deep into meditation, I bring my attention to my breathe. I feel air tickle the hairs in my hose and the rise and fall of my stomach. A rumble from my intestines shakes through to the surface of my belly. Thoughts come to the front again.

I bring my attention to the sounds I hear. I am breathing slowly. The sound of far away traffic seems to be approaching in growing, pulsating ways. Traffic sounds morph into the high-rotation fan sounds. Suddenly, I am aware of a plane flying overhead, the engines waxing and waning as it moves lower and farther away towards JFK International airport.

GwennyCakes, my tuxedo girl cat, trills as she enters the bedroom. Norman chirps a few times and then climbs onto my fleecy lap to lean against the crook of my left arm and clean his feet, his belly, his legs. I smell the faint odor of wet cat hair. My left arm goes slightly numb as Norman leans back to get good perspective on the next lick again and again. The refrigerator hums from the kitchen, two rooms away.

I think about writing meditation as still life. My brain gets excited about the idea and wants to run with it. I open my eyes for a few moments and then let them drift back down again. I mentally relax my forehead, my shoulders, and my legs. I let my jaw drop gently. I adjust my neck in an attempt to find the sweet spot of no strain and no effort. I sit for 30 minutes until my Chambered alarm goes off. I move to grab my phone on the bureau next to me and turn off my alarm.

 

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