This is a meditation John guided for his Advanced Practice Group in the midst of the Coronavirus Disease Pandemic for becoming intimately connected with both life and death.
In a seated position with eyes closed, you will begin the first few minutes of this practice with the Tantric Rose breath; inhaling through pursed lips down into your belly, as if sipping through a straw; and exhaling from the center of your heart with your mouth wide open, as if fogging up a mirror. Imagine your heart is a rose blossoming open as a gift to the world. Make the breath about honoring your heart. It is as if your heart is radiating life, love, sweetness, joy, beauty, juiciness, and depth out into the world.
Without losing the breath practice, and without losing the texture of gifting your heart to the world, open your awareness out to a 1-mile radius around you and feel what is transitioning from life to death - a flower, a blade of grass, a tree, an animal, or a human being. Feel the quiet stillness of death within a mile around you. Continue with the breath practice, so your heart is opening to life, while you’re also bringing your awareness to the death that is happening around you; not the dying or the suffering, but the actual death - the moment of passing from living to dying. Death as a mystic part of life. Feel all that is becoming attuned to that around you.
Now spread your awareness out even further - 100 miles - feeling not only human beings dying from the disease, but also out into the forests and the oceans. Feel death happening as a natural, relaxed part of life.
Continue to breathe and radiate out even further to feel, not only the death on this planet, but all the way out into the cosmos - to the stars, planets and universes dying.
For the last minute, make your practice about recognizing through your heart the beauty of life, and feeling with your awareness, the beauty of death; the stillness of death; the simplicity of death; the sublime beauty in no-thing. Let the breath keep your body and awareness open as you feel both the no-thing and the everything - both at the same time. The eternal masculine; the eternal feminine.
Then relax the breath practice, and breathe naturally in and out of your nose. From this place, with part of your awareness, feel life - birth, plants, animals, forests, grass, the ocean - and with the other part of your awareness, feel death; nothingness. Feel them both equally. Feel the beauty and perfection in both, and feel how they are the masculine and feminine intimately bound and connected. Close the practice with a bow to all that is living and all that is dying.