I am sitting meditation
in this body
damaged from years
of neural degradation
here I sit
torso pocked with scars
from surgeries designed
to keep it all running
to keep me alive
and mostly functioning
who knew it would be
a revolutionary act
to sit with this body
with kind regard
letting it be
as it is
asking nothing
celebrating wholeness

Sitting meditation when you are ill is a way of practicing self-compassion. I frequently meditate lying in bed. First, I bring my attention through my body, from my toes to my scalp. I notice the sensations as I pass, avoiding labeling those sensations, especially with words like “pain” that lead me away from my experience. I bring my awareness to my breath as I experience it most vividly. For me, that’s my torso, as I feel my belly and ribs move in and out. I use that as my anchor, bringing my attention back to breath when I get caught in the stories my mind creates.

I also sometimes practice tonglen, breathing in the darkness and heaviness of the fear or discomfort I feel, breathing out out lightness and blessing to all those experiencing such darkness.