My friend, the breath

Hello from Las Vegas! To start, I’d like to say what a privilege and honor it is to be asked to take part in this challenge again. Sharon is such a fantastic teacher and been so inspirational to my personal practice and I hope we as a team, from Against the Stream, might be inspirational for someone new just starting out. Let’s do this together!

This first week focusing on concentration, or these first few days anyway, has Sharon’s voice gently guiding me thru my memories. Just tonite, as I sat on my hotel couch and fired up the Insight Timer app for 20 minutes, the memory arose of Sharon saying to greet the breath like an old friend, like seeing your friend from across a crowded room “hello breath, hello my friend”. That encouragement to bring friendliness into a breath awareness, or concentration practice, has made all the difference in the world to me. Tonight, that instruction brought a smile to my face. Meditating with a smile…that certainly wasn’t what my practice looked like when I first started many years ago. Anytime the mind wanders, just noticing the distraction, and then gently and kindly returning the the sensation of breathing….hello my friend….hello breath. No judgement, no criticism. Retraining myself to treat myself compassionately. Game changer, right?

So, I’m sleepy, need to go to bed. Gotta work in the morning. Be well, my friends.

– gary

Against the Stream

May all beings be happy ♡