(waves crashing) Nice to see you again. You may want to keep a notepad and pen near you for this next one. So step one, like always, be comfortable. Sit in a way that allows you to feel supported. Maybe let a big inhale happen.
Exhale everything. (Kira exhaling deeply) Let your natural generosity of heart align you. And find the alignment of your skull so that your head and mind feel expansive. As always, let your eyes either be softly open, resting on a spot in front of you, or closed. Let your attention tether to the feeling of the breath in your body.
My favorite place tends to be my lower belly. You might've found over the course of our practices, that you feel more at ease at your heart, or even at that little spot just between the nose and the lips. The spot matters less than its usefulness to you. Let's start there. The yogis have long suggested that what motivates most of us and most of our thoughts, feelings and actions is the desire to be happy and the desire to avoid suffering.
I'm not asking you to accept this, rather, as we enter into this next meditation exercise, the play here is to start to let our attention be a little bit more free range. Or essentially, we're going to give ourselves a wider pasture. So as before we've been quite deliberate with the project of the mind. We're going to give it a little bit more room. So while you are allowing your attention to rest on the breath in a particular spot in the body, this won't last for long.
This just isn't entertaining enough for the mind. And she will begin to busy herself with other projects. Mostly concerned with this effort to find happiness and avoid suffering. And so, as you become aware of your thoughts drifting, the simple instruction, is to notice if they've gone to the future or the past, and if they've gone in the direction of craving or aversion. And when you notice that this has happened and it will happen often and continually, the project is to not be mad about it, upset about it, or feel like there's failure.
The project is to laugh, enjoy, label and name, and do your best to tenderly, gently, bring your attention back to that focal point of the breath in the body. If you force your mind back, it has about the same result as nailing jello to a tree, hurting kittens, corralling puppies. It has to be so tender. So affectionate. So sweet.
Like here kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty. Yes. The project of this meditation, isn't some kind of time trial of how long you can keep your attention on the breath in a specific locale. Rather, it is an exercise to notice how the mechanism of the mind works. The mind's tendency towards future, towards past, towards craving, towards aversion is not a problem.
This is the mind trying to solve the problem of the heart. This is the mind trying to be a team player with the heart's desire for a simultaneous experience of intimate connection and freedom. The purpose of practicing coming back to the breath into the body, is to establish the slightest bit of space between how the mind works and where our attention is. As we've been noticing, where our attention goes is where our life force goes. And so being able to...
(Kira exhaling) Coax our attention back inward, away from the machinations of the past and the future is simply to ensure that we have the life force and the energy to accomplish what it is we really want to accomplish. This is a internal environmental conservation effort. Not much longer now. If your eyes are closed, gently, now let them open. Thank you.