Recently, my husband shared this tidbit : We have 99.9% of the same DNA. We are all close, close, close. Close as twins. 7.5 billion individuals genetically matching each other. All nearly the same, with similar hopes, dreams, fears and hostilities. Although there are obvious cultural contrasts, not one of us is that different from the other.
If that is the case: How do we want to interact with one another within this global family? What do we want to say to each other, all 7.5 billion of us?
On the other hand, there are more than three million differences between your genome and anyone else’s. 3,000,000 dissimilarities. We are so different. How can we ever know anyone?
That is the paradox.
We feel familiar, close and yet so far away from one another. In this place of near, when we are together – we can feel safe or suffocated by the proximity/likeness of others, or in the experience of far or apart – we can feel spacious or extremely misunderstood and lonely.
And it is here in the space between close and far that I want to sit with you today for a meditation; to recognize that we are one and many. Different and alike. Whole and part. Conservative and liberal. Left and right. The friend and the enemy.
To sit amongst contradictions as if sitting at the beach, peaceful and calm is what we are going to practice today.
Take a few deep breaths and allow yourself to quieten. Listen to the sound of your breath in and out.
Now begin to notice the breath just before it enters your nostrils. Observe its composition. What is the air like before it enters your nose? Is it soft? Is it cold?
Next take your awareness to your lips. Place your top lip on top of the bottom lip. Gently, barely resting on the bottom lip – allow it to almost hover. How does it feel to place your lips on top of one another in this way?
Take another breath and close your eyes. And just as you did with your lips, close your eyes lightly resting the eyelids on their natural closing spot. What do you perceive?
Apply this technique of not being slumped or compressed together to all your body parts whether organs or bones, cells or neurons. Imagine them bearing no weight or pressure on any of the other body parts.
How does it feel? Does it make you straighten your spine or feel more spacious within your body? Do you feel light and airy? Do you like the sensations being this way creates for you?
Now watch your nostrils, lips, eyes, organs, bones and the way you are carrying yourself and imagine you can carry yourself very lightly, with very little effort. Imagine you can let go of the effort of this exercise. How does this feel?
Take a moment to breathe with awareness and when you feel ready, open your eyes and begin to move around the room being aware of the almost imperceptible way your body is stacked.
Look, smell, touch, hear and sense with effortlessness. As you move realize that even though there may be many contradictions in your life you can move with awareness and lightness of being.
If you find yourself becoming distracted return your awareness to the air just below your nostrils or your lips resting lightly one on top of the other and continue with the exercise.
When you feel complete take one more breath and find a place to sit. Contemplate what has changed for you since you started the exercise? How do the contradictions within you feel?
The more we embrace that lightness in our daily lives, moving our awareness away from slumping and clumping, the more unencumbered and present we can be in any situation, making it spacious and wholesome with our energy.
I know all this may sound rather simplistic in the face of the many complications and challenges facing us but I’d like to remind us that more times than not, simple is the way to go.
Look at water or the wind, animals or the light – all these elements and creatures they all move according to this law; they all find the simplest route to move forward.
Perhaps as we unfold into the potentials that simplicity holds we may find ourselves happier, clearer and more connected than we’ve ever imagined possible.