Through the woods, off the path, under broken branches and over prickly bramble, I come to a fallen tree that becomes my zafu.

I close my eyes and feel my body relax as it falls into a breathing pattern that is saturated in forest air. My mind settles deeper and deeper into the internal resting place. The body follows and the muscles relax. I recognize the feeling of coming home; of coming into my sanctuary.

Breathing. Sinking.

Breathing. Resting.

When I feel peaceful and grounded and solid, my attention shifts. Moving from the breath I take in the sound of a bird. One bird as it calls out, calls out again. Another bird answering.

Listening. Calling. Answering.

Listening. Calling. Answering.

I remain at the center of it all as the sounds come to me.

My focus broadens taking in the sounds of many birds; an aviary symphony. My focus expands again; breath, birds, the sounds of my dog sniffing and shuffling through the leaves, squirrels scampering and leaping overhead.

Breathing. Listening. Receiving.

Breathing. Listening Receiving.

I remain the center. The sounds coming to me.

A chirping, croaking sound and I shift into words.

“What is that? It’s too early for crickets and peepers and toads.”

My eyes open as I wonder about the chirping. And then gently back to the breath with this

How receptive can I stay to the present moment?

How receptive can I stay to the present moment?

As my receptivity expands again there is a shift. I am no longer the center. I become a part of the symphony. My breath joins with the breathing of the planet; my sounds are among the sounds. There is no I as receiver. The I melds into the larger we and I become aware of a truth I need to know.

Though I am not immortal, I am eternal.

Though I am not immortal. I am eternal.

Breathing. Resting. Smiling.

Breathing. Resting. Smiling.