The National Catholic Review

First comes the sitting. You should be relaxed
but comfortably straight as you align
your head and torso, shoulders, neck and spine,
your legs right-angled: soles are roots, feet flexed.
In this position you will find your head
afloat, not heavy. Rest there. Now begin
attending to your breathing, out—and in—
the street noise there but filtered, edited.
Quiet the voice that asks: That’s all? Just sitting?
Just being there and breathing? Breathe. Align
your body with the earth, your flitting mind
with all that flies, and welcome, in the One
in whom you live and move and have your being,
things as they are: this chair, this you, this time.

Mary O’Connor, R.S.M., has taught literature and writing in the San Francisco Bay Area and in South Dakota. She now conducts writing retreats.

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