I got up very early this morning and felt awake and ready to practice my meditation for the first time in a while. It was a beautiful morning, so I took my bolster and blankets outside and sat in the garden.

Instead of sitting behind the maple tree and turning inwards, I sat in full view of the garden and looked at the wonderful sights in front of me. It’s been a while since I sat like this, so I noticed how the garden has changed, just taking in the beauty around me. As I sat there I began to list all the things I am grateful for in my mind: freedom from pain, being able to sit outside for my meditation, the early morning sun, the gentle cool breeze, the lessons in life that brought me to discover mindfulness. There is so much to be grateful for and this was a great way to begin my practice. Settling down, following the breath and asking my Koan question; “Who am I”, I noticed thoughts but accepted them, I was aware of aches in the body, but continued on. Today I just enjoyed sitting and asking the question without worrying about whether I was doing it right or trying too hard, I just let it all flow. I felt the cool breeze on my skin, I could see the brightness of the day behind my closed eyes and I felt open to all that is out there, so when I took a breath in, I felt open and free, opening to the universe in front of me. Asking my question as the breath flowed out, not worrying about any answers, just accepting all that was happening in that moment. I have been too focussed on taking my question inwards and trying to block everything else out, that today it was such a relief to accept and embrace everything around me, my thoughts, aches, my breath, the garden, the universe, whatever I became aware of in the moment was ok and just as it should be. Coming out I just sat looking at the way the sunlight twinkled on the cobwebs and how the leaves danced in the breeze, smiling to myself and feeling refreshed as I stretched and continued with my day.