We’re going on a little journey, so get ready.
First, find 20 minutes when you won’t be interrupted.
Next, find a quiet place to sit where you won’t be interrupted, perhaps in a chair (where you’ll sit with your back erect, not leaning against the back of the chair, and with the soles of your feet flat on the floor) or cross-legged on a cushion. You’ll probably want to elevate your butt about 3 inches. Use a zafu, a firm cushion, or folded towels or blankets.
Turn off your phone and other distractions.
Ready? Shake the tension out each leg. Shake out your arms. Wiggle your spine gently. Wiggle the tension and stiffness away. Shrug your shoulders and drop them a few times. Work your neck. How’s that?
Now sit, spine straight but not stiff. Close your eyes and open your mouth. Start checking in.
First, your breath. Feel the air entering your nostrils, expanding your chest, leaving your nostrils. Feel your body’s natural movements with each breath. Without any forcing, allow your breathing to become smooth, steady, relaxed, and comfortable.
Check in with your head next. Feel all the parts. Especially notice any tension in your eyeballs and around your eyes, in your tongue and lips, in your jaw. Relax them. Let your jaw hang open.
This is important: I want you to get a look on your face as if you are in the dark, and a greater love than you have ever known is nearby. If you try to pursue it, you drive it away. It must find you, and the only way for it to find you is for you to be still, silent, and aware.
This love operates on s-l-o-w time. You have to match its pace for it to find you, so believe that for right now, for just this moment, you have all the time in the world to make this connection.
You are being patient and anticipating this connection at the same time. Your face has a look of wonder on it. Keep this look on your face. If you lose it, come back to it.
Now notice your neck and shoulders. Sometimes we collect tension in habitual places. Notice where these places are on your body today and relax them. Imagine each inhalation going directly to the tension, dissolving it, then each exhalation taking it out of your body.
Move down your arms, hands, fingers with your awareness.
While checking in with your back, also see yourself from the back in your mind’s eye. See yourself sitting there in silence.
Slide your awareness down the front of your body, releasing any tension you find.
Now check in with your pelvis — back, sides, front, bottom. Again release tension.
Move your awareness down your legs, feet, and toes. Notice how your entire body feels. Glowing? Lighter? More relaxed? Alert?
While you were scanning your body, love started permeating your cells. Now you are really starting to feel it. Each moment, you are becoming more and more immersed in love. Take your time and savor it.
Now, in your mind’s eye, view yourself sitting there from the front. See yourself with your eyes closed, jaw open, look of wonder on your face, suffused with love. You can move your point of view to straight overhead, to the side, wherever you want — just get a good look at yourself sitting there.
For the rest of your sitting time, let your awareness move as it will from noticing your whole body, to releasing tension from parts, to noticing the love of your life permeate your being, to being open to your experience.
(Thanks to Vivian, a member of my sangha, for having this look on her face for me to catch a glimpse of, thus inspiring my meditation and this post.)