This may be a relative statement for some people, but 4:50 AM seems really early. That’s when I rise to settle into my meditation practice. There is something about that hour in the morning that holds a peace I never find at any other time of the day. My youngest dog Bella follows me downstairs, watches as I lay out my zafu and then methodically licks every one of the fingernails of my hands that rest upon my knees before curling into a ball in front of me. Her sister Lucy generally joins us a couple of minutes later, sitting patiently in front of me, her brown eyes blinking in the dark as she studies my position on the floor. She too will settle on the blanket covering my legs.
We sit for our time. The soft padding of the cat’s paws pacing the hardwood floors in the kitchen provides a metronome counter to my breath. There is a peace in silence, in sharing a space with life different from your own yet reliant on so much similarity of process. I am humbled that they respect those moments with me despite a perceived inability to truly conceptualize my effort. This is what defines me now and it is good.