My teacher Sylvia Boorstein says that “most people have something they can relinquish.” Isn’t it true?
Can you feel the weight of what you are carrying? You might feel a strain where muscles, overloaded, are trying to hold on. You might feel agitation indicating a readiness for change.
Check in with your body and see… listen, feel… even think.
Where is there a lot (perhaps excessive) awareness? Is it in your hips, your mind, the future, the past, with another being?
Try to suspend judgment and just gather information. You might find there’s a lot of thinking, or restlessness, or sleepiness, or maybe even judgment! Keep going. Take note of what you find, you might even consider bowing to it as a teacher.
If you look closely, you will other qualities other than what is obvious and in abundance.
There is probably some element of equanimity where there is nothing too significant to notice. I often find this quality when scanning the body and including places like elbows and earlobes. There might even be some passing thoughts or sense impressions that have this quality. Listen for a sound that is relatively subtle and you might find it there.
You are also likely to find opportunity, need, longing, request, and other curiosities. After the end of the exhalation, after the pause, you will inevitably feel the need to inhale bubble up. This is that quality.
This is our human experience. It is a dynamic balance. We take things in; we hold on for a bit; our grip loosens; after a while, we’re ready to reach out and start the cycle again.
We give our attention and receive information.
We can think of generosity as a willingness to relax into and engage fully in this exchange.
With awareness we can help facilitate an exchange that is attentive, loving, and productive.
Begin with yourself, with your body and your breath. Notice the cycle of receiving and giving that is reflected in each inhale and exhale. Expand awareness to the physical body and notice how it is both anchored to the earth and open to the air. Maybe is one of these two relationships: inhale/exhale or earth/air you find an opportunity to help facilitate generosity.
You may notice opportunities to loosen your grip, or simply be patient while a process unfolds before you.
This is the foundation of mindfulness.
These are the ways in which we beautify the heart and mind. This is how we evolve.
On behalf of all beings, thank you for your practice.