A Little Rumi, A Little Meditation

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I wish I could tell you that it is easy getting up every morning and engaging some kind of practice.  I wish that I could say I hopped out of bed with inspiration, direction, and the need and desire to connect to something larger than myself, to meet the big “I” of me and feel it obscure the worries of the day to day “me”. However, this is not true. Granted, it is still easier than when I started many years ago, like the one year I set my alarm clock for 5 am and managed to get up and play at that hour maybe a handful of times.  Now, I am up most every morning. Some mornings I do have direction and inspiration and it flows through me and I flow with it, but there are many days I wake up thick as cement, with little or no motivation, and finding the magic of the moment seems like a photo on somebody else’s Facebook page.

This morning was somewhere in between. Knowing that to start my week it would be good for some inspiration to get me moving in the right direction,  I put on Coleman Barks reading his translation of Rumi’s Quatrains and Poems while I warmed up.  Rumi shows his  love for the divine unabashedly. There is no mistake when you listen to the words, his focus is clear, and all of the love he sends out comes back and fills him with joy. This is how I understand the cultivation of chi, the more you send out, the more comes in and through you.  Each and every day is a different search and you hear that in Rumi’s writings as well.

Today, after my morning stretch and general maintenance of listening to my breath and a little Chi Gung,  I decided it was the day for another seated meditation from the Buddhist Tradition. In my post Meditation #1 I followed these steps except that the Heart of the meditation, the focus of the contemplation was saying on my inhale “I am calm” and on my exhale ” I am relaxed” or alternately  on the inhale ” My body/mind is calm” and on the exhale ” My body/mind is relaxed”. The same rules apply. Whenever you find yourself distracted you lightly and kindly bring yourself back to the focus of the contemplation. I did this for about an hour.

Was I distracted this morning? Yes, quite a bit. And with kindness, I brought myself back to the activity of paying attention each time.  Slowly but surely, my ability to surrender to the activity became less of a struggle, and the words calm and relaxed though similar, had their own unique qualities that I felt my body play and embody.

The point is this, some mornings it is easy to get into practice, some morning it is more difficult, some mornings you are drawn towards the connection to, as Rumi calls it, the “Friend”. Regardless, it is the action of making the step to move in that direction, to go looking for that connection for yourself, to go looking for that connection to the “Friend”. That is where discipline comes into play. But not discipline in its harshest terms, but lightly. Like setting a date, and showing up.  It is in this way, over the years, you build a conversation with the many aspects of yourself, and a gentle  unfolding of “You” occurs.

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