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on Monday morning my dear friend brought her 4 month old baby daughter, dove, to me to baby sit. we are setting up a schedule that she will be with me on Mondays for 3 hours, give her mom time to do some work and dove and autie Jodeen some bonding time. oh, and also, this baby is just ridiculously beautiful. people say that all babies are beautiful, but that is just not really true. they are all wonderful, but they are not all beautiful.

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she brought her at 10 and she was awake, happy, but super tired. she fussed for awhile, but then went to sleep in my arms. i went outside to the deck under the umbrella and we sat. I watched her breath. I breathed with her. babies are zen masters of breath work. they breathe with their whole being and with no effort. in no time at all, I had dropped deep into this meditative state. listening to the birds, especially, the doves… there are probably a dozen that roost in this enormous dead tree in my backyard. their gentle coo is part of my soundtrack here. breathing in the scent of the grass and the coming storm. I just sat quietly for almost an hour. my right hand was free, so I wrote in my journal a little bit, but 90 percent of that time was spent just being present with our breath. it was such a powerful gift.

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when my daughter was small, I don’t think I put her down for the first year. i carried her with me constantly, even when she slept. holding dove, reminded me of that intense together time I had with lily when she was a baby, and my heart hurt in missing her.

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I have decided that everyone needs to sit with a sleeping infant in their arms to experience this particular kind of meditative state. babies who are wide awake and screaming are a far more advanced practice of zen meditation and i know that dove and i will have that experience at some time. it will be instructive and beautiful in it’s own way as well. i am looking forward to my mondays and hope she always sleeps some of the time so that she can help me with my meditation practice…