by John Villani
After about a week on vacation without my computer or cell phone, my mind was as clear as the post card blue sky. I took my seat on the plane from Boston to Baltimore to connect with my flight back to Austin. My seat was on the side of the plane providing me a perfect view of the New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland coastlines. The crystal blue ocean sparkled like diamonds from the bright sun.
I found myself revisiting a calm sate of mind and presence that I had experienced about 6 hours earlier during my morning meditation practice at the hotel. Only now, the gentle hum of the jet engines served as a mantra.
Focusing on the asymmetrical white sandy coastline bordered by the vast, deep blue ocean from high above was like having an out of body experience!
It was then I realized my fate was in the hands of the pilot and the plane, and I hoped the pilot had a grande Starbucks and was having a great day. This all reminded me that my existence is merely a part of a force bigger than me.
Coincidentally, in my last morning meditation class that I taught before my vacation, I used a quote from an ancient poet, Kabir, as my class theme. "Everyone knows that the drop is contained in the ocean, but few know that the ocean is contained in the drop."
I prefer morning meditation as my mind is most clear and fresh. The actions and distractions from the day have not yet been able to cloud my mind.
Typically by mid morning I find myself being driven by my thoughts, planning ahead to meet deadlines or merely to survive the day. This state of mind undermines my efforts to be fully present. Fortunately, with the meditation tools I have acquired from over 16 years of practice, I can re-center myself and be present with each task at hand by switching gears and by being steered by feeling, without thoughts or expectations.
After so many years of beginning my day with meditation, it has become part of my lifestyle and my routine. Starting my day with meditation keeps me from finding excuses not to do it later in the day.
No matter what time of the day we meditate, the most important part of practice is the act of sitting down to begin. That simple act shows we care about ourselves in a profound way, that we want to expand our sense of possibility and potential.
I am grateful that my meditation practice has allowed me to know that the "ocean is contained in the drop." I invite you to join me for Tuesday and/or Thursday morning meditation classes. You'll find it brings deeper meaning and deeper benefit to your yoga practice... and your life.
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- Tell us about experience with meditation. What works for you? What doesn't work? What are your favorite benefits received from your practice?
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