Sunday, November 25, 2007
Drinking puerh tea from little yixing cups in the cool air of morning, wrapped in my red woolen Nepalese shawl. I'm wrapped, not the tea, not the morning. Snug and cozy I am, watching steam rise from the cup. Jesse sits beside me on her woolen shawl which is really one of mine that I folded into a nest for her as I eat my breakfast. I feel the warmth of her furry silky body. Yuki's fur has a slight golden hue to it from the sunlight that filters in through the open blinds where he lays. He patiently waits for me to take him walking--and I will--after I finish my breakfast and do my stretches.
For the past few mornings after I wake up and eat, I've been doing a set of ten mindfulness movement exercises taught by Thich Nhat Hanh and his monks & nuns. I drew pictures (below) of each exercise and tacked them to my wall as a guide until they become "second nature" again. Hmmm, I wonder what first nature would be? Not doing exercises, probably...
In Monterey/Pacific Grove when I was acting as the faciltator for a weekly mindfulness meditation group, I was in charge of leading the exercises at the end of our meditation session. I had to count out loud and say, "breathing in, breathing out" during the appropriate stretches so that we'd all be moving and breathing in unison, more or less. My body remembers the movements. And I have memories of the friends with whom I meditated, breathed, smiled, stretched, and hugged. We always did hugging meditation after completing the mindfulness movements. In hugging meditation, the aim is to be fully present as we hug each other. We breathe mindfully in and out as we enjoy deep and simple touch.
P.S. the yummy breakfast you see above was my version of kayu, Japanese/Chinese rice "gruel." This time, the kayu consisted of brown rice, cabbage, kabocha squash, yellow onion, wakame, carrot, a few sesame seeds, shiitake, tofu, shoyu, miso, a few drops of sesame oil, and green onions.