April 13 Meditation - The Great Pause
Updated: May 19
Here we are about a month into quarantine. We’ve spent a month in this Great Pause. Let’s just let that sink in for a second: this past month isolated in our homes, getting used to this ever-changing new reality, which is also called getting used to impermanence. That’s our theme for tonight, and maybe for every minute of every day—impermanence.
I think we’ve all spent some time imagining what the future holds, maybe imagining worst case scenarios, or trying to plan for the ambiguous—often frightening—future. Perhaps we’ve longed for the past, for some semblance of the routine and regularity that once defined our days. I’m going to ask you to let go of those fears and anxieties and longing as we settle into this meditation, and to start to familiarize yourself, again, with the feeling of the unknown, of impermanence.
I also invite you to be curious about the freedom that accompanies the concept of the unknown. When we don’t know what’s coming, everything is possible. That sense of possibility has been a North Star for me during this month of unknowns. I find myself dwelling in the hope of possibility, and in the creativity of possibility. This Great Pause is a gestation, and we don’t know what we’re going to birth but we know we are going to come out on the other side of this into a different world, as different versions of ourselves. Possibility, and reinvention, are the gifts of impermanence. How will you embrace that, this gift of impermanence? How can you use impermanence and possibility for your own growth and expansion?
So as we Pause, we acquaint ourselves with impermanence, and therefore with possibility, which are lessons that will serve us well throughout our human years. I find that bodies are especially good at teaching us about impermanence. Of course that can refer to the way we age, as our bodies shape shift and settle under the weight of gravity. It also refers to healing, and the way a broken bone or torn skin can mend itself and regain wholeness. And maybe most importantly, it refers to the breath, to the constant interplay of inhalation and exhalation.
Here we are to practice breathing, to practice letting things come and go. Let thoughts come and go, you can label them: thinking, planning, remembering. Let feelings come and go--you can label them, too. Let identities, versions of yourself, come and go. Let breath come, Let breath go. As we sit together, allow whatever wants to come, come, and let whatever needs to go, go. And perhaps as we practice that, we find something more stable deep within.