In New York, spring, 2020, during the lockdown, I experienced a kind of vertigo, I sought my bearings by staring at the moon. I stared as it rose through my front window. I watched its slow progression for hours. Even during the day I followed its form as silver slices, waxing and waning in the blue sky. The moon became a focus of my meditations: I brought it into my body, felt its presence, counted breaths to it, imagined the inflation and deflation of my lungs synchronized to its waxing and waning. I joined those throughout the millennia who contemplated the moon--its female power and energy, mystery, regularity, gravitational pull, solidity, and holder of myth and knowledge. The moon guided me back to balance, to my body, and to the breath.
In Japanese Kaizen there is a technique called Moon Breath (Chandra Bhedana in Sanskrit), a form of Single Nostril Pranayama designed to promote calm and sleep: block your right nostril with your right thumb, inhale through the left nostril, then block your left nostril with your left thumb and exhale through the right nostril, repeat.
Two Halves of the Moon. Two halves, because this is how I experience the body, as a multiple of two: 2 lungs , 2 nostrils, 2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 legs, 2 arms, 2 hands, 2 feet, etc. The scale of the drawing is also relevant. It is loosely in human scale, the two halves are relatively proportional to the size of inflated lungs, and the drawing is slightly less wide than a person standing in front of it with outstretched arms.
All images copyright Jill O'Bryan