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Rhythm

Seated in meditation posture

I become so aware of my breath
I can no longer breathe
I judge myself on the quality of each inhale and exhale
too short,
too rushed
too anything
but right
Completely unaware, 
my body has a rhythm
all its own
and in harmony 
with the Greater rhythm
why is it that
when I try to
focus on it,
it escapes me?
Last weekend I met the mother of a child who has a “non-familial disautonomic” disorder.  I asked her what that meant, if she didn’t mind sharing, and how that manifested in her daughter. Feeling safe enough (her words) to talk, she told me that her daughter’s heart and lungs don’t operate in an automatic fashion, like everyone else’s body.  Truly, her daughter has a condition that few have, and those that have had it are not alive.  Her heart and lungs operate pretty much independently of each other, and do so at all now due to a machine that she is attached to 17 hours out of the day.  Despite this, the girl is charming and funny, and a living miracle.  There is no explanation for her condition nor for her being alive.  I have thought of this girl all week.  I take for granted my breath and my beating heart, and when I do pay attention to them, I feel panicked and struggle to hold that rhythm that comes so naturally most of the time.  This young girl and her family are constantly aware of the delicate nature of her breath and beating heart, and yet they live life so fully, truly grateful for everyday.  They have found a rhythm in their lives…a way to live aware of tenuousness of each moment, and yet so fully in the game.  I want to find that rhythm in my own life, where I am balanced perfectly between awe and expectancy, living each moment as if it were the only.
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