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One Day, After Sitting

Updated: May 26, 2020

Every day, from August to November, I would sit outside and meditate in the rec yard. After my daily workout, I would find a spot in the grass, sit down facing West, and practice following my breath mindfully. Around me, other inmates would play volleyball, basketball, jog on the track and do their push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups and workout routines. I was the hub of a wheel, the eye of the storm. Often, I was asked how I managed to tune out all the activity and meditate. I would explain, “It’s easy, I don’t tune it out. I just notice it, give it some space, and follow the breath.” It became apparent to me that all the activity surrounding me was no more distracting, maybe even less so, than my own thoughts, feelings, sensations and inner dialogue. As I would follow the breath and notice the space between each inhalation and exhalation, I had the sense of being like a big mountain, steady and stable, as the various activities surrounding me and my own thoughts, feelings and sensations, were much like clouds and weather, coming and going in their own time against the spacious backdrop of awareness. One day, after sitting, I had a feeling of well being. – Sent to PMI by a prisoner

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