What comes to your mind when you read the word “meditate”? Do your eyes wanna close, do you smell incense, hear the flicker of a candle, feel a wave of relaxation roll over your senses? Oftentimes when we think of meditation, we think of quiet spaces with soft pillows and dim light. Thing is, when we create this lofty experience of what meditation “should” be like, we negate the common, everyday experience available to us right this very instant.
Feelings are Free!
In this moment, notice your feet. Are they kicked up, laid out, or planted on the floor? Are your feet bare, in socks, in shoes, or buried in sand? Take this moment to feel and experience your feet, not with your hands, but with your attention. Feel the heel, the arch, the ball, and the ridge. Feel each toe and each space between each toe. Feel the knuckles, the nails, and the cuticles. Feel your ankles, your instep, and everything in between. Intimately feel your feet to a depth that you may have never tried before.
Further consider that this feeling of your foot is always available, yet in the humdrum of life, we may never care to notice. Many of us may never even think of our feet until we stub our toe on the corner or until we get a pebble in our shoe. It’s a fact that most of us will never feel our body until there is pain. Think about it, you never feel your tooth till there is a toothache, you’ll never notice your head till you have a headache.
This is why my teacher would always say, “Don’t wait to stub your toe to love your toe.”
Do You Love It?
A one word definition for love could be attention. To a degree, we love what we give our attention to. So to love your toes, for example, simply pay attention to them. Experience them, feel them. Enjoy them. Be grateful for them. Beyond just your feet, love your entire body by simply paying attention. Feel the air on your skin. Feel the clothes on your back. Feel the open space above your head. Feel all the features of your body and become present to yourself. Again, these are all sensations that are available to us every moment of every day – sadly, these are sensations that are all too often overlooked and taken for granted.
If we were to make a habit of this practice of attention, we may come to find that sensations are fleeting, and new feelings arise constantly. Everyday we have new blood, every week we have new skin, every year we have new bones and organs. The body is in a constant process of change and transformation, as such, we always have a brand new body to explore and experience.
A Whole New You!
Each instant of each day, a new experience is available to us. Take the time to feel the landmarks and features of your body, enjoy the rise and fall of your breath, and celebrate your livelihood for the precious gift that it is. The more you enjoy life, the more life you have to enjoy.
Enjoying life and loving yourself, this could be one way to meditate.