Last night (Monday) was a beautiful and balmy evening in Melbourne .. the day had been unusually warm (32 degrees), there was a big, full harvest moon in the sky and the sunset presented as a striking vivid pink .. far off into the distance you could see fingers of rain connecting the watercolour sky with the sea. Very beautiful and very still.
It was my turn to lead the Simply Silence group and, as is often the case, I allowed the mood of the evening to lead my thoughts about what our meditation practice might be. We started with a very gentle and natural reaquaintance with the breath (a Breath Awareness meditation) .. a practice that most individuals can participate in .. a universal meditation practice since we all breathe! and also a great grounding practice after a busy day at work.
As the room, the body and the mind stilled .. my awareness was drawn to the very slight and gentle touch of the breeze on the skin. The breath of the breeze touching the skin. During the guiding stage of the practice I suggested we broaden our awareness to rest with this simple touch of the air on our warm skin, noticing where it touched the body and how the body and mind responded. Focusing our awareness on one of the senses is a wonderful way to deepen our meditation .. just allowing the mind to shift from 'thinking' to 'sensing' ..
Touch is the first sense that develops in the womb, and our skin is actually the body's largest organ .. exquisitely rich with nerve endings! While we spend our day touching (computer, iPod, phone) we have filtered out most of the sensory stimuation. Massage is a beautiful way to revisit the sensual sense of touch (mentioned here) .. but last night .. the dance of the breeze on warm skin .. was a beautiful and inspiring anchor for our meditation. I hope everyone enjoyed this practice as much as I did :)