Taking out the garbage.

I was taking care of all my little bedtime preparations a couple of hours ago including taking garbage out to the dumpster while trying to distract my two cats, Baldo and Chica, from their preoccupation with food, when I noticed how pleasant it was outside.

Baldo and Chica had followed me outside—they follow figuring, based on past experience, that I’ll eventually give in to their food cravings and persistent pleadings—and I sat down on a picnic table bench between my father’s unused motorized chair (where Baldo has recently taken to sitting as if it is his) and another nearby bench where Chica normally sits (and which she would eventually settle on).

I sat down, straightened my back and stretched my neck—my body’s principal stress indicator—and looked up at the star-filled night sky before closing my eyes and deeply inhaling and exhaling.

I felt air go down the back of my throat as I breathed in deeply.

As I exhaled, I listened to the movement and felt the beginning of relaxation.

I tried to focus on the back of my eyelids and continued to inhale and exhale deeply and evenly until I was able to shift my focus from breathing to the relaxed focus I was feeling in my body.

As I relaxed, the cicadas’ regular, rhythmic calls in unison filled the night air and reinforced my focus. Thoughts and tasks that had filled my mind during the day including my web site development and writing quietly came and went.

Cars driving by or the father who called to his children to come inside to get ready for bed simply became part of my breathing.  Eventually, I felt Chica rub up against my legs to remind me that she was hungry.

But that was when I was about done:

After forgetting what my hands felt like.

After forgetting how to open my eyes because of how heavy they felt, that positive weight I feel in my eyes and forehead when my focus is deep.

When the anxious thoughts had passed.

When my desire evaporated.

And there was no suffering.

Nor joy.

Just being.

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