Meditating in Bed

I’ve gotten lazy (not the right word). These days I meditate lying in bed. Slow inhales, exhales, 140 of them, 20 minutes, head still on my morning pillow. Sometimes my son joins the moments, his pjs nestled next to my wife. Is this meditation? I ask myself. Does it count? Before the puppy I used to go downstairs for 30-minute sits, quiet, alone. But the house is always awake now, or about to get up. I try to sneak in meditation on the couch after dinner. I close the eyes of my mind, breathe, count to 7, stare speechless, paying attention to nothing in particular.  Are you meditating? My wife asks? She can always tell. No, I answer, starting my count again. Post-puppy I still meet my quota, at least 45 daily minutes (usually more), but at home I’m surrounded by the family, my family. I’ve learned to accept the interruptions, the imperfections, after all, I’m meditating for my wife, for the kids, for the benefit of all beings. Sitting, walking, standing, lying down, mindful seconds, slowly becoming my mindful life.

Flamenco At Home

wooden guitar, Paco de Lucia flat on a screen
the bitten apple underneath his frozen image
Iberian music partially fills the house

without speakers he is far from me
sitting at the center of our victorian
the dining room table, my desk where words appear
between my son belting out songs he learns from
tv, while my daughter talks about the dog
we’ve decided to have join our chaos
our domestic bliss

before baths and bedtime
they swirl and nip like moths chewing sweaters
devouring dusky light
energy wanes, finally they take the stairs up

I stand barefoot, wooden floorboards warm my toes
in Sloane’s room, above the oven
where the chocolate chip cookies were
just baking

I stare at her snow globe collection
Capri, Virginia, Asheville, The Nutcracker
Alexa playing songs that I don’t know

almost 30 years ago it was
TWA, me on a plane to Madrid from JFK
before I knew his name, before the Moors
and Hemingway, before phones in pockets

his voice, his Algeciras
dead 4 years now, wikipedia tells me

the cassette I bought that summer
a rectangle of non-compostable plastic
sitting in landfill somewhere

the house is quiet now
only black where he once was
sleeping children, the wind outside blowing leaves
like memories trying to take flight

Evening Prayer

I don’t pray every night, but I probably should. After baths, books, conversation with wife, I usually drift into writing, creating, rearranging words on a screen. Mind a whir, could journey depths until dawn, but the clock of calculation, of sanity, of sacred sleep, tells me to stop. I go into my daughter’s room, turn down her light, I love you, I say to her curled up slumber. I meditate in my son’s room, the sound of his breathing, my pew, my stained glass, my sanctuary. Seated, darkness, air in, carbon dioxide out, first minutes filled with brain bouncing from thought to thought, the earlier, the tomorrow, the could happen. Then sometimes the indescribable now, when I’m nowhere, everywhere, witness to all time, and no time at all. Emerge a short life span later, pray for my colleague, that her malignant tumor retreats, allows life, hers to continue. It feels like I could stay forever, talking to God, to no one, to everyone.