The human mind, my mind, conjures up between 60 to 80,000 thoughts a day. AN exhausting statistic, but one that justifies my attention span. That isolated fact provides plenty of motivational fodder for me to continue nurturing a daily meditation practice, my chosen location for this week being my morning commute on BART. Whether standing and rocking back and forth with the motion of the train, or seated under the shadow of my fellow standing commuter I just close my eyes and go...in.
Whatever happens in these moments is okay
as long as I bring my attention back
to the object of my attention.
It could be my breath, an ongoing body scan to unearth every coil of tension where it lurks; the caves around my eyeballs, in the perfect gummed arches of my teeth, the pillar of my neck, the columns of my shoulders. My attention could be a simple intention, or mantra; inhale stillness and silence - exhale peace. A tonglen inspired focus, inhale chaos, and disturbance, exhale balance-equanimity. Whatever it is I hold it like an olympic marathon runner would her baton.
There are plenty of potential interruptions, annoyances, disturbances, surrounding me and from between my own ears. I get to observe, witness and acknowledge every noise, sensation, thought, and reaction, I refrain from engaging. They all come towards me, passing as a cloud would, coming in, and drifting away. Awareness of stillness and activity, back to the breath, a gentle re-direction. Not ignoring the voices, rustling, bodily noices, traffic, itches, twiches..... Simply acknowledgeing, witnessing, passing through, not pushing, watching, not attaching. I can stop at anytime, I can resume in any given moment, I can carry this with me.