Pre-Dawn Meditation





Scenario 1.

I’m lying in bed. My room is chilly but it’s warm under the covers. Cozy. It’s 4am. Two more hours before I need to get up.

But I can’t sleep.

I turn over and reach for my iPad. I’m going to read. I’ll read and fall back asleep.

But sleep doesn’t reclaim me, so I check my email. And the weather. A little FaceBook too. I peruse the NYTimes, click on a few other links, answer another email or two.

Then, before I know it, my alarm goes off. Two hours have passed. I haven’t been up and about, but I haven’t really been resting either.

I get up feeling tired and somewhat dull.


Scenario 2.

I’m lying in bed. My room is chilly but it’s warm under the covers. Cozy. It’s 4am. Two more hours before I need to get up.

But I can’t sleep.

I reach for my hooded sweatshirt and a pair of socks, and I crawl over to my zafu (my meditation pillow) in the corner of my bed room. I might strike a match to light a candle,  or I might simply sit in the darkness, legs  gently crossed in front of me, hands resting on my knees.

I close my eyes. I breathe deeply into my belly, and exhale every ounce of air, and then a little more.

On the next inhalation I softly lengthen my neck as my belly expands. As I exhale I sway my torso, my serpentine spine flexing and gently twisting, elongating and expanding as my breath pours out of my body.

As my spine elongates and expands, I gently rotate my shoulders. My jaw and brow soften. My breath flows deeply in, and smoothly out, out, out.

The house is quiet and dark. The glow of headlights swoop through my room as a car swooshes past.

I breathe deeply into my belly. I breathe out long and slowly, slowly, slowly.

In this dark pre-dawn hour, there are few thoughts bouncing around my head and a liquid quiet pours through my body like a dark and gentle river. I am lost and comforted, both surrounded and filled with that rich quiet.

My spine sways and lengthens again, cobra-like, with my next breath.

I am only my body and my breath. I feel only the air around me, entering my body, exiting my body, the zafu beneath me, the backs of my hands on my thighs.

I hear my orange cat pad over. He sniffs at me then curls into my lap. My mouth curves into a smile and I rest a hand on his silky, purring belly.

I don’t know how long I sit in that gentle nether space between night and dawn.

Eventually my legs and feet are tingling thickly. I slowly extend my knees and the cat leaves. I blow out the candle. I crawl back up into bed and under the covers and slide into a deep sleep.

My alarm sounds some time later and I wake, refreshed.







5 thoughts on “Pre-Dawn Meditation

  1. Scenario 3: I sit up, piling the covers around me and two pillows behind me. I reach over for my pencil and the list of ideas for pieces I can write for my short story group. I scribble furiously, emptying my brain of ridiculous thoughts on the selected subject. I run out of further ideas. My writing slows and stops and the pencil falls from my fingers as my eyes close. I awake to the sound of the 6AM news. As I move to turn down the volume, I become aware of a cramp in my neck. I find my pencil and write a note to make an appointment for a healing massage.

  2. I knew you’d return to that which you feel a calling… the written word… Remember? Long ago (and only just a breath ago) you told me to tell you to keep writing! Little did I know how blessed we would all be… Siempre escribe! 💜

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