Let the body assume it’s natural ease
Let the mind assume it’s natural ease.
Now remain alert to anything that arises to disrupt that natural ease.

Ajahn Amaro

A lot of people struggle with the idea of natural ease.

What is natural ease?

Are we ever really “easy”?

When i wake up in the morning, my ease is immediately disrupted by by a whirlwind of thoughts – a chaotic cascade of impressions and images and often, imaginary obstacles, all that shine a bright light on my fears, phobias and frailties before i even truly stumble out of bed.

It’s like  I’m making homemade version of “Naked and Afraid”, but without the film crew and and with better quality sheets.

But before the “I” in me starts to appear –

And before that background beat of noisy nonsense that crowds out my sleepy sense of serenity…..

There IS a perfect moment of natural ease.

Try this exercise:

Lay down (assuming you sleep standing up like the rest of us)
Visualize your body as big and broad and expansive as the sky
A blissful blue – unblemished by any stain or storm
See that as clearly as possible, and with as much concentration as you can cultivate

Then –

Just notice what you notice.

What disturbs your natural ease?

Invariably, if you like most of us, you’ll notice thoughts dancing and darting and whisking you away.

“Come here,” they beckon. “I want to show you something. Trust me, it will only scare you a little.”

Don’t listen.

Like a cloud on an otherwise balmy day, watch them until they float peacefully away

Soon, bodily sensations appear as well.

Maybe it’s an itch, a feeling of pressure, or depending on whether you did your 12 pushups the night before like me – maybe some discomfort in the body as well

Don’t think about it – just notice it

For me, the breakthrough has been in the nuance of noticing.

Noticing is a distinctly different process than thinking

it’s just an awareness of what is, without judgement.

As you flex your mindful muscles, even preferences for “this way”, or “that way”, or “I wish it was the other way”, eventually begin to evaporate.

Just let everything be at ease

And continue to watch whatever wants to get in it’s way.

Another truth is this.

What you energize, increases

The more attention you direct at what disturbs you, the bigger, badder and bolder it becomes

Picture a bright white canvas of consciousness
It stretches as far and wide as your ethereal eye can see
Notice what colors darken or deepen that whitest of white
Watch as they appear – bold blotchy blues and deep troubled tones
Don’t think about them.

Let them do their little dance and disappear.

They can’t form a shape unless you give them enough brush to bruise the page.

If you want to be happier, healthier and more well adjusted in this wild and wacky and weird world…..

Embrace the ease underneath.

Don’t move towards anything that disrupts your natural ease

Don’t fix it – or color over it, or even wish it away.

Just be aware it’s there

Allow everything to arise, appear and disappear.
In real life, off of the metaphorical mat – the actual affect this beginning practice has on our lives is complete.

If you can see everything as a weather pattern – the noisy neighbor, the crazy guy on the 3 wheel motorbike at rush hour with poor lane management skills – all a momentary disturbance in the effortless ease that is awareness itself – nothing can truly stain the peace that lies beneath.

For each of us willing to look, the coming and going gets easier and more enjoyable every day.

“You are the Sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”
– Pema Chodron