Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu,
Buddhist, sufi, or zen. Not any religion
or cultural system. I am not from the East
or the West, not out of the ocean or up
from the ground, not natural or ethereal, not
composed of elements at all. I do not exist,
am not an entity in this world or the next,
did not descend from Adam or Eve or any
origin story. My place is placeless, a trace
of the traceless. Neither body or soul.
I belong to the beloved, have seen the two
worlds as one and that one call to and know,
first, last, outer, inner, only that
breath breathing human being.
There are so many ways that we can consider the breath as sacred. The fact that all living things breathe in some manner – perhaps not with lungs – creates a very intricate network of interconnection. Our last post quoting Richard Cawte reminds us that this sacred breath is shared, and connects all in an intimate embrace…one which we receive with every inhale and exhale. As we breathe more fully we enliven every living thing. We are meant to thrive and to create.
Indigenous people globally accept the sacredness of the breath and the interconnection with the natural world. Some traditions, such as yoga, tai chi, and qi gong have studied it for 1,000’s of years, and in fact have created a science of breath. In the Native American Medicine tradition “Divine Breath” is a noun. It means the manifestation of the divine spirit in all living beings. It is also called “life breath”. The name given it is “ni” or “nilch’i”. As you listen to this short piece of Native American flute music by Darrel Whitewolf give yourself some moments to feel the sacred breath of the wind moving over the Earth and inside of you.
“We touch the sacred with each breath. With each breath we just keep dipping into the sacred… Breath is the vehicle to return to God (the Sacred). This is the ground of all being. Breath is the vehicle that takes us beyond thought, form, and into direct experience. The breath takes us beyond words, beyond our ideas, into our deepest truest nature.”
Frank Ostaseski, Founder of Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco and Metta Institute
Our life outside of the protection of the womb is defined by the breath. When we first enter the outside world our lungs fill with breath and is most often expressed with the sound – sometimes very loudly – of our voice. When we leave this life the last thing that is heard is our final breath. How could something that is with us our entire lives not be the sacred ground of all being. Our lives are defined by each inhale and each exhale….the pauses being the opportunity for rest and stillness – to feel the sacred ground of our being. Beginning our day with the intention on deeply breathing, even for a few moments…and ending our day with the same attention to the breath…reminds us of who we are.
“ When you breathe deeply and fully, you are breathing the breath that feeds the Soul. This energy is part of the spiritual force of the universal energy, and it enters your body with every breath. The breath contains the vital energy of who you are.”
-Jennifer in Australia at www.awakenbreath.com
Deep Gratitude to those above that have inspired me this week.
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