beyond duality

photo-1445962125599-30f582ac21f4 In the natural world, we experience duality everywhere. The ebb and flow of the tides. The waxing and waning of the moon. Our inherit inclination to contract in the winter and expand in the summer.

I feel this duality as a parent too. As I watch my children grow, I am all too aware of the fine line between encouraging them to experience the world and protecting them from harm.

So much of life is spent residing in this duality that it can be so refreshing to step away from it for awhile. My meditation practice encourages this by enabling me to peek into the world of oneness by taking a break from a black and white way of living and settling into a soothing gray area. Taking a break from my attachment to things being a certain way is a huge lesson for me knowing that we suffer greatly when we want things to be different than they are.

As a mom of three and as someone who struggles with discipline, my meditations practice varies from day to day. Some days it may mean pausing and locating my breath for a few stolen moments while my daughter begs repeatedly to watch another episode of Full House. It may look like a centering, grounding quiet while I rock my baby in my arms and notice the green of the leaves through my bedroom window. Or if I am feeling ambitious, a 10 - 15 minute seated practice while everyone is out or sleeping.

However meditation comes to be in my day, this time of stillness allows me a vacation from duality even if it is for just a brief moment. And it feels so replenishing and nourishing much like a real vacation. Almost as good as a real vacation.

Here in this place of quiet, the thoughts that arise are not right or wrong, they are simply thoughts. In this space of oneness, there is no yes or no, good or bad, sad or happy. The joys and struggles inherit in life are just different chapters in the same messy but beautiful story.

This place of neutrality is a wide open field with tall grass swaying to the rhythm of the wind. The air, infused with freedom, holds no judgment or criticism, no expectations, and no attachment to outcome.

It is a practice that comes and goes but is always accessible by our one sustaining and life affirming breath. The inhale and exhale, the rise and fall of our chests is one long wave anchoring us to this moment. This one moment, the only one we have.

Leaving the world of labels and boundaries, rules and regulations behind, allows me to just be in a place that just is.