Remembering to Breathe

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I just remembered to take a deep breath.
My mind immediately engaged
with thoughts like
You should remember 
to take deep breaths more often.
Thoughts like these cause me to constrict,
to stop breathing,
to doubt myself,
to believe
I haven’t made enough “progress.”
It occurs to me
that I can immerse myself in the experience
of simply breathing.
To dive into the sensations,
to stay with my body.
Will there come a time
when the pull of my head
isn’t as strong?
It occurs to me
that awareness of my thinking
puts me at choice.
I can engage with the thoughts,
or I can just notice them
and redirect my attention
to this moment, this breath.
This is the essence of meditation.
Ah, so my mind is my teacher.
My mind speaks loudly,
and gives me the chance
to practice being aware.
And meditation isn’t simply
thirty minutes on my cushion
everyday for five and a half years…
Meditation is now.
It’s this moment
of taking a deep breath,
having a thought about breathing
and remembering to breathe again.

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