Part of a series of notes to myself, June 2018
So I woke up this morning and was breathing in and out. I’m still breathing in and out now. Every breath is connected to a comprehensive molecular sensation. I know from past experience and how I am now that it is not completely mature; but it is certainly present in an absolute sense. Trying to force this sensation will not improve it; it will make it worse. That is to say, it is deadened by any effort to manipulate it. An acute observation, however, can help it to reach deeper into the body; and since all of the molecules have a wish to participate, the more that I can help them by watching this process with a silent intelligence that does not interfere, the better off everything is.
I worked hard physically yesterday screening soil for the garden and carrying it down to parts for vegetables. It was hot. The physical work is a good thing, even though it my age it wears me out. Today my body, which hurts, is grateful for the exercise it got – and the suffering that it has undergone consists of a peculiar kind of gratitude for being alive at all.
So I am here within, where the sensation of breathing is a real thing and a gentle, exquisite sense of sorrow penetrates the body as I become more aware of the fact that I am. It is the gentleness of God’s grace as it arrives; and this is a much more real thing than some of the coarser impressions I’m willing to subsist on when I’m not in a better relationship. I guess the point is that one there is no caviar around, one eats the oatmeal.
I suppose, having studied this, that I should let this go this morning. Things are rather quiet within and that always creates a capacity to allow events to flow in with less resistance.
Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.