Thursday, January 13, 2011
The Gift of the Breath
I had a delightful “aha” moment last weekend at a workshop that I attended. The insight actually came from the meditation that the facilitator led us through at the beginning of the session.
As a practice, I remind myself as often as possible to connect with my breathing. Many people from all types of spiritual practices focus on the breath as a way to quiet the mind and bring attention into the present moment, thereby reducing stress. It is an important part of many wellness practices.
In being conscious of our breathing, we are able to reconnect with the part of ourselves that is eternal, always whole, an integral part of ongoing creation. We remember that through our breathing God lives as us, and so we can never really make a mistake; we are not only in the light, we are the light.
At last weekend’s workshop, as we were beginning to pull our attention back from the external things that demand our attention to the quiet within, I began to become aware of that now-familiar communication between body and spirit. I felt the lightness that comes as my thoughts move into the background and my soul expands with gratitude into the temple of experience and sensation that is my physical body.
As the group leader led us in meditation, he suggested a perspective that was new for me - that we notice the breaths coming, unbidden, for the gift that they are. As I sat there, probably for the first time in my many years of meditation, delightfully watching for each breath, and feeling each one filling me, every single breath became another hello from God.
I was humbly and very gratefully aware of doing nothing for this gift, of needing to do nothing; life just kept pouring into me in wave after wave of grace. I am, and I am again, and I was a child being given a new present to unwrap each time the breath of life filled my lungs. My body knew no separation from God and never-ending good as I welcomed the gift of each and every breath.
I don’t even begin to understand the source of this inexplicably vast goodness at work in our Being. The more I experience it, the more I realize how much I don’t understand. But I'm fine about that because that's part of being human. Even as I recognize my mind's inability to make sense of the miracle of creation, still I try to put it to words. It's my own way of honoring the gift.
May you find delight in unwrapping your life’s gifts, and may this tool be a blessing. . .