A snowbird friend recently returned home from a shorter than usual season here in the desert. I asked her how their season was and she replied, “It felt short. It’s the transitions that kill me!” The statement really struck a chord as to how changing locations can hold so many challenges. As I thought about this further, I realized that we are always in some state of transition, although some may not be as great as others.
Think about your breath. It has been in transition since the very first one you took. We go our entire lives, aware (or not) that the breath we are breathing in this moment is unique unto itself. As I breathe in air molecules, they will have been touched by other beings on this planet. When the air enters my body, it is now touched with my own unique “body-print” before being released, in a different form, back into the world. Our breath is not only always in transition, it is the one thing that is always in the present moment. When we slow down and become conscious of it, we begin to awaken to a subtle wisdom that lies deep within us.
The first time I saw Deepak Chopra speak was in the early 90s in Melbourne, Australia. He was discussing quantum physics and suggesting that we try to find the gap between our thoughts. I thought to myself, “We have gaps between our thoughts??” I certainly didn’t believe that I had gaps, rather just one thought abutting the next. He went on to say the gap is where we tap into profound insight. Okay, he had me hooked. I was curious to know more, as this was the first time I started to see if I could find any space between my endless choo-choo train of mind chatter. This moment led me to want to learn more about meditation. I wanted insight…I had to do something, and this seemed like a great idea!
For any of us who have sat on a meditation cushion, we know that the process is anything but easy. It sounds simple enough– sit down, follow your breath and, when your thoughts distract you, notice and bring your awareness back to the breath. It takes consistent practice to begin to truly get a sense of what this process reveals as we are constantly jumping out of the present moment. But if you’re like me and curious enough to explore a deeper connection and gain inner wisdom, then sitting on a meditation cushion or stepping onto a yoga mat is a great place to hone our skills.
If we can shift our focus to how we move between moments, we will get more familiar with these magical gaps of transition – something to be savored rather than avoided. Notice the transitions; the sweetest place in the present moment.