Cold behind the arms

I’m a little bit tentative as I immerse myself in the sea.

I see men and women launch themselves under the waves and start to swim effortlessly, but I find it necessary to take my time and gradually acclimatized myself to the cold water.

On a recent holiday, I noticed that the area at the back of my arms seemed to take longer than other areas of my body to get used to the change in temperature and my attention was drawn to this area of my body which does not, in normal circumstances, receive my attention.

To reach the back of my arms and touch them I have to hug myself across my chest to create the reach which is necessary to touch them.

My left hand cannot touch the top of my left arm and vice versa.

This lingering coolness at the back of my arms, brought them into focus and this is what it is like for me when I  enter into periods of quiet reflection, which I have been taught to call, “sitting practice”

Whilst sitting, in silence, with my mind free of external stimulation, my attention is drawn inwards and very often it surprises me with the randomness of the issues that it brings to the surface of my consciousness in the present moment.

These hard to reach issues can be of deceased relatives and friends, long lost memories of my youth or childhood, old friends, happy times, sad times, crisis, love, longing, words, songs, pride, shame.

The practice of hugging our bodies to reach the back of the arms, is the same action that I require myself to undertake, to welcome whatever the sitting practice brings. I notice it, I acknowledge it and I dwell on what it is trying to tell me in the context of my life today.

My next blog will be:    The Best Man

William Defoe

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