early spring meditation, birdsong

Baby Wren (barefoot photos)

In Western New York, Spring, the mud-licked goddess of joy and rebirth, has floundered through the melting snows of March and found her way with the warmer, softer breezes, flowering snowdrops, and brilliant birdsong.

Neighbors are sweeping off salt-littered stoops and chatting in the street. All agree: it’s been a long, tough winter.

Mindfulness meditations can bring me right home into the season. I practice opening to what is happening during this, the most ephemeral of all seasons.  Sometimes I sit with a palm outstretched and filled with sunflower seeds for the chickadees.

Whether they land or not doesn’t matter. I’m offering and watching.

Sometimes the garden bench is the most inviting place in the world. I practice listening and find it much harder than watching. Doesn’t matter though. I continue and begin to feel as if life itself has slowed its push and shove. I am no longer a tacit observer of the environment, perched on the bench, waiting for life to begin. I feel the vibration of the sounds move through me. A slight shimmer passes inside my arms and I breathe through the heart center. I am no longer an alien entity; I’m a living being in an alive environment. A sense arises from deep in my spine that I’m home again.

Early spring meditation: Open a window or door, or even better, sit outside in a garden or park, tune your ears to a specific bird call and listen as long and as carefully as you can. If Mind wanders about in that spring restlessness, gently bring it back to the song. Just as you would observe your breath, observe everything you can about this particular song.

The rise and fall of the melody,

the loudness,

the harshness or softness,

the pitch,

the duration of the notes,

the repetition.

Can you hear other birds responding?

Can you feel the sound entering your ears?

What happens when your consciousness is attuned to your hearing, does that affect what or how you hear?

Invite the song to permeate your being.

Allow your life to become this birdsong. Where do you feel it?