Grevel Lindop

Poet, biographer, critic, essayist and writer on just about everything

Full Moon Meditation

Black sky. Six thirty in the morning. Freezing cold, hacking ice off the car (I usually walk but today I have to collect Amanda after the practice). Driving cautiously in the dark over the crusts of frozen leaves and the greasy black ice puddles to the meditation centre.

Too sleepy and cold to think. Four or five people there already, laughing about the cold. We decide to go upstairs and use the small shrine room. Get the heater going. Bow, light candles, light incense. Chanting: three refuges, five precepts, homage to the Triple Gem. At least I feel earthed now: a bit more solid, warmer.

Then the practice. Watch the breath, calm it, make it subtle and gentle. Make it as slight as possible. Thoughts settle down. Stillness. Some light appears in space. Body connects with it. Everythign spreads out, floats. Further stillness, energised now.

Check the time: more than half an hour’s gone by. Thought it was less. We finish. It’s daylight, exquisite pale bluegreen sky with ribbons of pink cloud. Dawn happened while we were sitting. It was worth it. Why?

Can’t explain. Cosmic rhythm acknowledged by human observance. Meditation with friends: you are neither one nor many, neither there nor absent. The mind swimming briefly in a different pool. It’s just different. I don’t know why we do it but something seems to know.