no two meditations are the same. this much i know. but i don't know it can be this dramatic from one day to the next. yesterday was all sweet peace. here's how this morning goes. in the beginning it all seems to go as i have been doing the action sequence day in and day out. look. i get up, have my drink of chlorophyll, aloe, a little apple juice and psyllium, poop, - i cannot overstate what a huge difference pooping before meditation makes to the quality of meditation, but i'd better get back to the real drama of the day before i get carried away with pooping - where am i? o, right, then i wash the mouth and teeth and face. some gentle stretches. bow to four directions. bow to my meditation seat. so far, nothing is off track. yet somewhere around i put the earplugs and eyewraps in place i begin to sense something is off within. a little bit. very subtle. it's like the camera lens is slightly, very slightly, out of focus. so slightly that i just dismiss it.
i proceed to rigorously rub my hands to give a little tai chi bath to the eyes, face, head, neck and chest. as i am about to begin reciting 'a thousand mirrors,' the poem that i have been letting off my lips daily for one and a half years i hear a tiny whisper. you'll trip. i thought i knew what it meant. i'll trip over the poem 'breakthrough' which i am about halfway through memorizing. but as i type this now i realize that is the beginning of me getting out of the present moment. the onset of getting off center.
anyway words stream out of me swimmingly. in another corner of the mind the worry that i'll forget some part of 'breakthrough' loops like a stuck record. not loud. but enough to suck my attention out of the present moment. until suddenly i realize words stop flowing out of the vocal cord like a river's flow is obstructed by an unexpected boulder. my attention goes into shock. panic jams awareness. disbelief shakes up the mind. thought waves strike. negative thoughts. heavy thoughts. this can't be. it's impossible. so i try to gather myself, squeeze the scattered attention into the line. 'the reality of my existence is...is...is...' what is the word after 'is?' nothing comes. the brain jumps up and down and all around inside the skull. banggg. wangg. nothing comes. after a while and i don't know how long in terms of the linear passing of time i drag myself to the next verse. obviously i am still not totally in the present. because after 'each mirror was broken into thousands of fragments' i go right back to 'the reality of my existence is...' i struggle some more and go nowhere but round and round like a scared mouse. meanwhile negative emotions take this opportunity and make their appearance. discouraged is the main one. and exasperated too. i won't go into their extended family.
i begin to notice the breath is out of whack. so i do the only thing i know how to do in such dire circumstance. i turn attention to the breath. in a few rounds i watch the edginess in the breathing movement smooth out. then i hear this. relax. i take a deep breath in, a long breath out. a couple of more rounds later, conviction arises from deep within. i can't recall whether it comes with the inbreath or the outbreath. doesn't matter. they all come from the same place. anyway the message i get is this. i haven't forgotten the poem. really, i haven't. why would i even doubt that. scrap it.
with that i see what i need to do. move on to the next verse. and so i do. as i let the rest of 'a thousand mirrors' flow out of me i feel a refreshed, renewed resonance. 'destruction took its time. while grace was penetrating deeply i said to myself, people say grace is a shelter, why, then, am i losing all i have?'
indeed. 'all the reflections are grace. all the mirrors are grace. grace had revealed that everything is grace.' yes, even tripping up like this is grace.
as i step off the meditation mat i hear the inner self say, write with one voice. 'the power of grace takes me across,' ain't it the truth. ain't it the truth.