I wanted to share with you a meditation by Satish Kumar from his book, 'Soil, Soul, Society.' Practice for inner and outer connection and healing.
"First of all, pay attention to your body posture. Sit comfortably, use a cushion if required. Relax your shoulders. Relax your arms. Relax the front and the back of the body. Relax your thighs, knees and calves. Relax your feet. Feel the energy flowing through your spine upwards. Relax your neck. Relax your head, forehead, eyes, cheeks, chin, lips, tongue and jaw. Relax your whole face. Relax your whole body. Let go of all tension.
Bring your palms together near to your heart and bow to the sacred universe, acknowledging that you are a microcosm of the macrocosm.
Then place your hands on your knees, resting palms upwards. Make a circle with the index finger and thumb of both your hands. This circle represents the sun, the moon and the Earth. Also, the circle is a symbol of the cycle of time and the cycle of life. The three remaining fingers stay straight, representing the past, the present and the future simultaneously.
Pay attention to the silence, to stillness and to calmness. Let your mind relax. Now all is well within you and around you in the world. Suspend your thoughts, worries and plans. Smile at the world.
Let your mind focus on your breath. With the inbreath, say silently, 'I am breathing in.' With the outbreath, say silently, 'I am breathing out.' Follow the journey of your breath through your body, through the chest, through the abdomen, through the legs and through the arms. Experience the breath nourishing your whole body.
Be aware of the beginning, the middle and the end of your inbreath and your outbreath. Pay particular attention to the turning point from inbreath to outbreath and from outbreath to inbreath.
While you are breathing mindfully, be aware of each stage of your breath and be aware of the sensation of the breath within your body. Be aware that all human beings are sharing in the same breath of life that you breathe. Thus the whole of humanity is connected with you. Thus we are all related. With that sense of the unity of all life, bring back your attention to your breath and breathe gently and naturally.
As you are breathing mindfully, with full attention in a relaxed body, be aware that not only the whole of humanity but even plants, animals, rivers and mountains are sustained by the same breath of life that you are breathing. Thus we are all connected, we are all related. With that sense of unity of all life, bring back your attention to your breath and smile.
There is a mantra in Sanskrit that is the seed of all mantras - OM. Repeat it three times, sing it to your own tune. Take a deep breath and chant that syllable, lengthening it as long as you can. Be aware that this sound is reaching to all corners of the universe and returning to you. Let this sound be the vehicle of compassion and wisdom. All living beings, not just humans, with whom you share your breath are your kith and kin, your friends. You have no reason to be in conflict. Let your anxiety drop. Let your mind be calm. Breathe mindfully and smile. Let your fear dissolve. You belong to the Earth, be at home, all is well. Relax and breathe mindfully. The sun, the rain and the soil will nourish you. Have trust. Breathe mindfully, take a deep breath and smile.
Bring compassion into your heart and say, 'May all beings be happy, may all beings be at ease, may all beings see good upon this Earth and may no one suffer from fear, anxiety or disease.' Feel that your heart is full of love for everyone but particularly those who may have lost their way. They need your compassion.
Resolve that in your life you will seek truth, love and compassion. Again resolve that you will seek beauty, unity and generosity. Then offer your thoughts, words and actions for the well-being of all, for now, and for the future.
Breathe mindfully and smile. Be aware that your body is fully relaxed, enjoy these moments of calm, stillness, silence and mindful breathing. Smile.
Say to yourself, 'My intention is to think, speak and act mindfully and attentively throughout the day.' Then there is no distinction between mediation and living. Meditation is to pay attention to every moment of life and therefore it is a way of life.
To conclude the meditation, bring your palms together, hold your joined palms against your forehead and bow to the sacred universe and sacred life.
Then bring your joined palms near your heart and express your gratitude to life, gratitude for sunshine, rain, for the fertility of the soil, for the care you have received from your parents and other relations, gratitude to friends, gratitude to ancestors, gratitude to all. Gratitude to Soil, Soul, Society.
Feel a sense of joy, contentment and fulfilment.
As you hold your palms together, imagine that all the opposites complement and make a whole: left and right, dark and light, above and below, masculine and feminine, negative and positive; seeing opposites are two aspects of one whole. With this sense of wholeness, completeness and interrelatedness, conclude this session of your mediation.
Sitting in such a session is helpful practice for the care of the soul and in order to learn to pay attention and take care of yourself and of all your relationships with others in an appropriate and harmonious manner. You can live a joyful life, free of fear, anxiety and attachment. It is in your hands."
Artwork by Daren Thomas Magee AKA @realfunwow