By Lynda Shadbolt

This is how I start my daily meditation practice these days. I take a few moments to really arrive and settle onto my cushion or chair. I just sit quietly and sense the space around me. I feel the air on my skin, my clothing on my skin. I sense my skin suit that I was born in. I am aware that the skin is the largest organ in the body and I just sense the aliveness in it. I relax and soften my eyes and my ears. I relax my jaw and tongue. I let my shoulders fall away from my ears and I open my heart with lots of kindness, to hold whatever arises in the meditation. I scan my body and try to relax as much as possible, with a sense of alertness. I imagine myself bright on the inside, relaxed on the outside. I tune into my breath and feel my body breathing. Sometimes I say “peace in” as I inhale, and “peace out” as I exhale. Or “breathing in I am calm, breathing out I am at ease.” I feel my whole living, breathing, biological, ecological system breathing, and I am grateful I can breathe.

And then I dive even deeper into myself and I go right to the centre of my being. I find the quiet still spot that is at the very core of who I am. Sometimes I think of it as the presence of love, of peace, of calm that is in me. I remember that it is always waiting for me to return. The yogi’s would say that this deep, calm, quiet centre is our “essence” or our “soul.” It exists in the present moment and never changes. Even as we age and our outer body changes, this inner dimension or inner universe is always the same. When I can remember to connect with place of quiet, of love, of ease it helps me settle and it takes me below my mind that is full of stories about COVID, the Ukraine, the challenges of my daily life, etc. It is as if I connect with this deep quiet space and remember it is the core of who I am and it can inform my mind and my body about how I want to be in the world. It is a practice of letting love, or peace, or easing the guidance of my life. And once I connect with this space and hang out in it for a while, often the solutions to my challenges will present themselves. Or not.

Sometimes I just need to sit in the still point and just be for a while. These days I find myself envisioning peace and ease for all in the Ukraine and Russia, and all other wars. My intention is to connect with the peace within myself and then extend that peace to the people in my house, in my community, in our county and in the world. Every single person makes a difference. We can each make our psychic vote for peace. And it will make a difference.