A Centering Practice

A photo looking directly up into the Tiffany glass dome of the Chicago Public Library's Preston Bradley Hall. Seven concentric circles, each composed of thousands of blue or white panes of glass, surround the central chandelier, itself composed of hundred of translucent white panes of glass.

Let’s take a few minutes to settle in and get centered now. I invite you to get as comfortable as you’re able. You may want to stretch, or adjust how you’re seated, or shake out a little tension. Whatever you need, just try to give yourself a little bit more physical comfort if that’s possible.

[Give folks a minute to move as they need to, and silently model doing what feels good for your body.]

And now I invite you to notice—if it feels okay to pay attention to your body for a bit—to notice a place inside of you that feels like a center. And just breathe with your attention there, if you’d like.

[Pause for a breath here.]

You might notice the presence of Love at this center—see if it’s there—and breathe into it. With each in-breath, notice Love at the center.

[Pause to take a couple of breaths.]

And then I invite you to notice the edge of the out-breath. Noticing Love at the center of each in-breath, and then noticing the outer edge of each breath you release.

[Pause for a breath here.]

You might bring your attention to your own edges, finding a boundary that marks the edge of you. Perhaps it’s your skin. Maybe it’s a bubble of energy surrounding you. Perhaps it’s somewhere inside, closer to your center. Wherever you find that boundary is okay.

[Pause for a breath here.]

Breathing in and noticing the center. Breathing out and noticing the boundary.

You can play with this practice. Breathing. Noticing what happens with your center and your edges as you stay with them and give them your attention.

Sometimes our boundaries want to be pulled in close for protection. Sometimes they want to be big and spacious and roomy. Both needs are real and deserve our respect. As you attend to your center and your edges now, you might use your breath to help mark the boundary that is right-sized for this moment. Take a few breaths there.

[Pause for a couple of breaths.]

And when you’re ready, I invite you to come back to our shared space, and to notice again who is here with you. Each of us an individual, with their own center and boundaries. Each one part of this larger collection of beloved companions. All of us part of the larger whole, with Love at the center. We are so glad you are here.