Monday, July 14, 2008

BREATH: Exploration of a Sacred Lesson

You may ask, “What could the breath possibly have to teach me?” I will tell you that the breath is the path and the way to hold your effort and intention in right relationship with the rhythm and pulses of the vast universe of which we are but one cell.

When we are asked to accomplish a task, we hold assumptions about the learning process and what we must do to accomplish what we set out to do. Most of us are educated to put learning on as a piece of clothing that we acquire. We are not taught to access learning from within ourselves. In fact, the thought that there is inherent wisdom and knowledge written into the living system of our body/being is, in fact, rather alien concept. Though the breath is something that is so close to us that if we stopped we would no longer be living in our body, we rarely acknowledge its primacy. There is an implicit assumption that we must impose a technique to breathe correctly. We seem to have lost the capacity to have a direct relationship with the miracle of our own breath. In beginning such a relationship, our very own breath becomes our greatest teacher.

We think that our stories matter and we keep paying attention to our stories. Our stories embody our belief systems. Our belief systems create the containers of the fluid energy of life. The atmosphere of these shapes in turn reinforces our stories, which in turn creates our lives. We forget that we are choosing the stories we want to make real. If a particular story is dysfunctional and does not see us expressing a healthy and vital life, we must understand the technology which will allow us to go underneath the story to the basic fact of our life and consciously choose to rewrite the story we want to create.

We bring our attention to the breath by activating our senses to the body as it is being breathed. We begin to know our body as present moment breathing aliveness that is constantly pulsing like the waves of the ocean. Once we give our attention back to the present moment experience of the breathing body we gain access to choose to step out of the old stories of the reactive mind and create new stories that place us in a universe that allows us to grow and learn and be in positive relationship with everything.

With the breath as the focus of identity, we become a fluid system. We bring our conscious awareness on the breath. The breath is breathing through the whole body. The quieter we become, the deeper is our capacity to listen to deeper and deeper levels of the breath. Not only are the lungs breathing, but also every cell in the body is breathing. The skin is breathing. We are totally interconnected to everything in every breath to the space we are living in and that space in turn touches everything

In aligning our consciousness with the pulse of the breath as what identifies us, we finally rest ourselves in the living pulse of the rhythm of our unique life force. Your breath is your portal to come back to a state of innocence. Though your breath, you can access the technology of how you are creating yourself in the present moment.

Innocence and beginner’s mind: The Portal to Beauty

Innocence and beginner’s mind: The Portal to Beauty

The experience of the breath will allow you to enter the garden of your own being. It is very easy to miss beauty. We look everywhere for beauty but right in front of our noses.

To witness the miraculous means to dissolve the blinders to the very fact of your own existence. I wonder how it is that people take their own bodies for granted. There is not a human being on this planet that can express the intelligence and beauty and power of the very body they are using to examine the world. There is an implicit assumption that we must do something to improve upon what has already been given.

The very fact that your body is animated by breath is miraculous. Instead of using mind efforts to control the breath to do it right (the assumption being that it could not possibly be perfect without your conscious mind directing it), take the attitude to learn from the breath. The only effort that is necessary is to direct the consciousness to behold and be in a state of wonder that the breath of life is breathing through you.

When our mind finally stops trying to control our breath and simply witnesses the exquisite refinement and infinite variation and depth of the breath, we have finally woven our minds back into a relationship of innocence with the present moment.

Innocence is certainly the domain of the child, but it is not the child about which we are speaking. While children have the quality of innocence, so does every expression of the natural world. We are apart of the natural world except that we hold ourselves apart in the way we structure our reality in our conscious mind.

It is the adult human mind that must reawaken to the sacred in all things. The most primary place we can reawaken is the breath. It is a simple shift of attention to come back to the breathing pulse that is with us from birth to death. It is alien to surrender ourselves to something that is so close to us.

When I shift and hold the primacy of my breath in my consciousness, I am immediately taken out of the noise of my mind into the unfolding present. Conversely, when I unconsciously give my attention to the virtual thinking reality of my mind, my intellect, I place myself in a two dimensional universe in which I am no longer in the present. From the thinking mind, I am either in the past or the future where I have no control to creatively interface with the present moment. We become victims of our future/past story, we have removed ourselves from the possibility of our true creative potential which only lives in the present moment. Our relationship with our breath is our primary access to the present moment.

In the present moment I am breathing, connected to all things, created by the divine will, which has created all things. We are all divinity breathing itself into existence. Everything and everyone is miraculous and wonderful. Everything comes from the activation of the breath of divine principle.

Only in so far as we are lost in the dark stories of our two-dimensional thinking, outside the reality of innocence and wonder, will we see the Other as enemy. We can only see the Other as enemy if we cut ourselves from wonder, if we have made our own innocence—the sacredness of our own body—an enemy. We do this when we hold our mind outside of our aliveness and then fiercely and desperately attempt to control life. It is a natural response to tighten our efforts to control life if we have lost trust, because we are out of contact with the higher organizing principle of the oneness of all being.

As soon as we correct our relationship with life and allow life to breathe us into the present moment, we can experience the wonder this creation. Immediately, the need to manipulate and control others falls away and there opens a space for the heart to soften. The heart is the direct connection to direct knowing of the interconnectedness of all being.