photo_20I am full of early morning,
tucked beneath my comforter,
stretching my legs,
my brain filling its daily bucket of anxieties
sufficient for another day’s wrestlings.

These several days I’ve laid siege to my citadel of habit,
rising in winter’s early morning coldness
to meditate in dark stillness.
It’s not easy.

Plagued by inertia,
I prefer my cocoon to elbowing out of bed
and sitting cross-legged,
back held straight,
shoulders pushed back.

Engulfed by morning’s opaqueness,
my wayward mind wanders aimlessly
and I am lost in a dark wood.

But it suffices,
for Zen absolves human frailty.
Mind needn’t be emptied,
and it’s mindfulness I lack:

To know the moment
and seize the solace of the Now.
To listen, but not engage.

I trace the pulse of limb and muscle.
I tune in to muffled beating of day’s snare drum
amid gathering pink of celestial fingers.
I count my breaths.

Cultivating stillness,
I discover calm,
and listening,
I grow wise.

–rj