I sat in my evening alternate nostril breathing meditation amidst another night of rainstorms, punctuated by bright strokes of lightning and rolling rumblings of thunder. With so much congestion in my lungs, I had to be ever more conscious of how I was breathing. I was so grateful to be able to lay my head down at the end of this eleven minute practice and relinquish my energies and attention into the beckoning arms of sleep. And I had another little disturbed long slumber, this time for six blessed hours. I awoke recharged and gratefully acknowledged that my low grade fever from the day before had broken. There is certainly no question in my mind that my body is valiantly putting up its best defense to this upper respiratory invader. I was, once more, quite amazed that I could still do my sadhana, and ended it on the front porch under the eaves to do my 5x5x5 breath meditation. I matched my breath to my heart beat – five breaths in to every five heartbeats, hold the breath for five heartbeats, and exhale at the rate of five heartbeats. As I found a steady rhythm, I wondered at how much pressure I felt as I took in the air. I was struck, as I had been yesterday, at how lucky I was to be able to breathe in this way, and indeed to be able to breathe at all. To say that I am grateful for my breath, is an understatement. I got through the whole eleven minutes without coughing or sneezing – just sweet breath, inhale, hold, exhale – and in sync with the heart. I think of Tommy and our co-meditating Bookenders finding their centers in this practice. We find purchase in the breath and use it as our anchor to guide us through our awaiting day. This is the Bookend Meditation. Sat Nam!
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