…like human fish, we are asked to experience meaning in the life that moves through the gill that is our heart. Ultimately, we are small living things awakened in the stream, not gods who carve out rivers. We cannot eliminate hunger, but we can feed each other. We cannot eliminate loneliness, but we can hold each other. We cannot eliminate pain, but we can live a life of compassion. — Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening
Sit quietly and simply let your heart breathe without focus.
Noticing obvious areas of tension, and allowing for some release of tension.
Breathe deeply, and accept the jewel and grit of this moment.
(adapted from Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening)
For singers, flutists, and all other sound makers:
Breathe in and allow sound to flow from your voice, your flute or other instrument. The flowing vibrations provide the water that flows into your heart and nourishes you with fresh oxygen to energize and inspire your healing and growth.
Allow the sounds of your flute to embrace you, to warm your heart. If there is some pain or sorrow in your heart, let the ribbon of sound hold that block of pain or sorrow.
You can be like a drop of water in the heart of a river of mindfulness, compassion and music.
Given the context we are living in I wanted to share with you a practice that is dear to me and that I find healing.
4 years ago around this time…I found myself feeling distraught. My heart ached for our world, for our country, for life.
I felt anxiety, hopelessness and helplessness. Feeling angry and also, paralyzed to act.
I began to incorporate this practice into my morning routine and found ease, freedom, and a way forward. Anxiety eased. Sorrow moved through and could be expressed and released. I felt empowered to take steps forward, to continue my work in the world, my work to meet the world with openness and compassion, to join waves of people creating ripples of goodness and love.
The beauty of this practice is that it helped me to shift from “being” anxiety, to “being aware of”, to observing, anxiety. This allowed it to move through, as understanding and compassion arose around it.
Here is the practice:
There are 3 melodies.
While playing (or listening to) the first melody, bring awareness to challenges in your life. The purpose is to allow understanding to arise and compassion to be born in our hearts, to help heal us. (allow your eyes to close…inhale deeply… slow outbreath…)
While playing the second melody, bringing awareness to someone close to you, and sense challenges they may be experiencing. The purpose is the same: to allow understanding and compassion to arise. (relaxing with the breath, with the movement of the breath…)
While listening to or playing the third melody, bring attention to the suffering in the world a little bit everywhere: violence, illness, social and racial injustice, poverty, hunger, war…with the same purpose, to allow understanding to arise and with it, compassion.
You can play through, or listen to, the cycle of 3 melodies several times. This creates a field of mindfulness and compassion…
Sit back and listen to the practice:
I have found that this practice creates shifts in me that are liberating.