Left for work early, arrived home again late. Morning, afternoon, evening: did I take even one conscious breath? Did I breathe at all?
I sit. I bring to mind each of the people who has shared this day with me, each beautiful face. I dedicate my meditation: May you be happy. May you be peaceful. May you be free. May we all be happy, peaceful, and free.
I am breathing.
Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,
what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself into wine.
In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your sense,
the meaning discovered there.
And if the world has ceased to hear you,
Say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.
-Rainer Maria Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus, Part II, Sonnet 29, trans. Joanna Macy