Sitting with your palms up resting in your lap, eyes closed, tune into your breathing, relax your tension points and go into your centre.
Become aware of the air at your fingertips, between your fingers, on the palm of your hand. Experience the fullness, strength and maturity of your hands.
Think of your hands, think of the most unforgettable hands you have known - the hands of your father, your mother, your grandparents.
Remember the oldest hands that have rested in your hands.
Think of the hands of a new-born child, your nephew or niece - of the incredible perfection, delicacy of the hands of a child. Once upon a time your hands were the same size.
Think of all that your hands have done since then. Almost all that you have learned is through your hands turning yourself over, crawling and creeping, walking and balancing yourself.; learning to hold something for the first time; feeding yourself; washing and bathing, dressing yourself. At one time your greatest accomplishment was tying your own shoes.
Think of all the learning your hands have done and how many activities they have mastered, the things that they have made. Remember the day you could write your own name.
Our hands were not just made for themselves but for others. How often were they given to help another.
Remember all the kinds of work they have done, the tiredness and aching they have known, the cold and the heat, the soreness and the bruises.
Remember the tears they have wiped away, our own or another’s, the blood they have bled, the healing they have experienced. How much hurt, anger and even violence have they expressed and how much gentleness, tenderness and love they have given.
How often they have been folded in prayer; both a sign of their powerlessness and of their power.
There is a mystery which we discover in the hand of a woman or a man that we love. There are the hands of a doctor, a nurse, an artist, a conductor, a priest, hands which you can never forget.
Now raise your right hand slowly and gently place it over your heart. Press more firmly until your hand picks up the beat of your heart that most mysterious of all human sounds, one’s own heartbeat, a rhythm learned in the womb from the heartbeat of one’s own mother. Press more firmly for a moment than release your hand and hold it just a fraction from your clothing. Experience the warmth between your hand and your heart.
Now lower your hand to your lap very carefully as if you were carrying your heart. For it does. When you extend your hand to another, it’s not just bone and skin, it is your heart. A handshake is a real heart transplant.
Think of all the hands that have left their imprint on you. Fingerprints and hands that have left their imprint on you. Fingerprints and handprints are heart prints that can never be erased.
The hand has its own memory. Think of all the places that carry your handprints and all the people who bear your handprint. They are indelible and will last forever.
Slowly become more aware of your outer extremities. The pressure of the air on your forehead. The sensation of the air touching your fingertips.
Slowly, as you are ready, become present to your reality once more.