I want to write a new post…
but a television writing project is keeping me busy 14 hours a day. Nevertheless, I don’t want to be one of those bloggers who don’t publish. So here’s something which, while short, may still be meaningful. It is to me.
Let me tell you a story.
Earlier this year, finding myself without a long-form prose project, something akin to an existential crisis occurred. So, I took to breathing.
Let me try that again.
I purposely avoided beginning another novel because it felt habitual. To be buried again in a new work of fiction, the urge was powerful, like an addiction. So I fought it, hoping something new might enter my life. A diplomatic posting in Buenos Aires, for instance. But nothing did. So there I was in the vacant place people dread, and which Zen monks and mystics worship.
So I took to breathing.
I say breathing, Zen says breathing, yogis say breathing, but of course it’s more than that. As the breath in-came, I had to follow it very closely. This was no new-agey thing; it was urgent. If I didn’t focus sharply on the breath’s journey, my addiction would seep in, then inundate me. Breath-consciousness was my water-tight refuge. As long as I stayed with the breath, my old cravings couldn’t drown me. I was safe there.
Sure, we all meditate and know this to be true. Except this wasn’t recreational breath awareness; this was keeping me sane. Oh-so-sane.
Being breath-attentive was the ‘be’ in the BE; the ‘here’ in the HERE; and the ‘now’ in the NOW. And I could go there anytime – while the gamut of habit, thought and opinion that hijack the organizm was left out in the cold. It soon dawned on me that this oh-so-accessible space was the end-all.
This uneventful ‘practice’, for that’s what it became, was bringing the background of my being to the foreground. I don’t know how else to say it.
The foreground is colourful, exciting, seductive and addictive. The background is nothing, boring, but full to brimming with absolute presence and sanity.
And that’s my story for this week. Maybe next week I’ll have time to go deeper.