Meditations on Subtlety & Spaciousness

It’s a cold winter morning here in Tofino and as I walked my son to the bus stop this morning he remarked how beautiful it was with the bare trees poking out of the mist and the sun coloring the sky light pink behind the morning fog. This time of the year is characterized by the qualities of subtlety, lightness, dryness, and mobility and this morning I could feel each of these qualities so clearly. The dry frosty ground beneath my feet, the cold wind on my skin, the lightness of the tree branches looking so fragile without their leaves, and the subtlety of light and morning mist that lends mystery to this season. It is beautiful for sure and lends itself to the more subtle practices such as reflection, inquiry and deep meditation. You may find that you are more naturally drawn to these practices or that those of you who have established meditation practices can go deeper more readily.  Winter is the time of year to nourish these practices. Here is a winter morning meditation inspired by today’s beauty.

Meditation on the Subtle Space

  • Prepare your meditation space by lighting a few candles to illuminate the winter morning darkness.
  • Take a good seat. Ensure that your hips are higher than your knees by sitting on a firm cushion. Use a chair if necessary.
  • Release the weight of your lower body down into the earth and allow your inner body to be soft and spacious, supporting the outer body with ease.
  • Rest your awareness in the movement of the breath through the spaciousness of the inner body. Notice the way the inhale fills the body the way sweet wine fills a glass. Feel the way the breath fills your inner body from the pelvic floor up through the base of your heart, through the center of your throat all the way to the dome of your upper palate.
  • Allow your exhale breaths to be soft and complete. Enjoy the sensation of the outer body draping around the fullness of the inner body with each exhale. Allow yourself to pause gently at the end of your exhalation and enjoy the spacious quality of emptiness.
  • What is the subtle force that moves the breath? Drop this inquiry into the space of your mind.
  • As your breath settles into a softer and more refined rhythm begin to rest your awareness in the spaciousness of your mind. Allow your attention to linger in the silent spaces in between the thoughts as they arise.
  • What is the subtle force that moves the mind? What is the subtle force that gives rise to the creation of thought? Drop this inquiry gently into the silent spaces of your mind.
  • Begin to settle into the deeper spaces of your meditation. Enjoy the pause between the breaths and the way that the spaciousness of your inner body is filled by it’s movement.  Rest your awareness in the silent spaces between the movement of thought and emotion in the mind.
  • Release into the subtlety of your inner experience.

Join me on December 18th for a 2 hour workshop on Winter Wisdom at Coastal Bliss Yoga Studio.