Listening In

Canyon Wind Practice

The base of the canyon floor sheltered us from swirling gusts on the rim whipping treetops and snapping straggling junipers growing at impossible angles.

A ranger on an early morning trail had warned of high winds tearing across the West Texas prairie.

Whistling Rocky in we abandoned high ridges for calmer air.

The subtle signs and gentle pulls in my heart led to a deer path at the base of the canyon with a fresh flowing small creek with deeper pockets of clear water in just the right places.

Paralleling cliff and creek a narrow grass prairie vibrated with roadrunners, woodpeckers, turkey, and whitetails showing off in the spring awakening air.

Towering red and white cliffs etched by timeless waves sheltered trees and shrubs clinging to steep, rocky soil.

The pillow perched on my head lands with a weary thud within the circle of whispering cottonwoods on the bank of a playful creek. Diamonds glitter on the surface near a small waterfall.

Settling on the pillow I synchronize breath to the rhythm of smallmouth bass rolling lazily over the water surface slurping damselfly emergers and water striders.

Crossing my legs and grounding my spine the nags of bone pain signal changing barometric pressure.

The sun’s angled rays beam through lower branches catching swallows swooping in late afternoon hatches. Hungry wrens snatch nymphs from the muddy bottom. Turkeys unfurl feathers with a definitive snap strutting in circles to attract mates.

Soon the canyon walls will ignite with setting sun. Mating columns of blue-winged olives will conduct this evening ballet of feeding trout.

Here. Now.

Breathing into the practice every barrier and filter open senses to receive and integrate the natural healing of restored peace and perfect balance.

Breathing. Simply breathing. In. Out. In. Out.

Gratefully allow a deep tuning to the rhythm of the swaying trees, babbling water, steady boulders and cliffs.

Harmony flowing effortlessly through cells, atoms, charges connecting to me before rippling to family and friends. Overflowing to envelop strangers and unknowns, wrapping each in well being and effortless peace.

May you be well. May you be peaceful.

Here. Now.

Above me, the winds roar and for a moment my thoughts fly into the cacophony of humanity shredded by intentions.

Filters snap into place with empathic instinct, but training reminds breath to unravel fear, release sadness, and allow.


Lean into the suffering with open arms. Breathe in. Out. In. Out. Breath beyond empathy to compassion.

Cleansing waves flowing over rocky waterfalls near the cliffs to me, family and friends, strangers, enemies, reaching beyond ever more.

Healing, soothing, restoring infinite possibilities.

Breathe in suffering. Breathe out love.

Breathing in. Breathing out. I Am.


24 thoughts on “Listening In”

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