Don’t surrender your loneliness
Let it cut more deep.
Let it ferment and season you
As few human
Or even divine ingredients can.
Something missing in my heart tonight
Has made my eyes so soft,
My need of God
by Shams al-Din Hafiz
Within solitude is found the deepest expression of our heart and soul….and it is here that we know ourselves as the fabric woven by God.
Being alone seems different from seeking solitude. The first happens spontaneously most every day of our lives either physically, or in an emotional state of being.
The second occurs when we mindfully seek out a space within and without for reflection and deep inner rest – a refuge if you will within the state of loneliness. Hafiz speaks of the state of loneliness as a rich source of communion with God/or source, and asks that we not discard or run away from it, but allow it to ferment.
Breathing within this state of solitude takes on new and expanded dimensions as our focus shifts from external concerns and stimuli to watching the breath take form and shape moment to moment. We may come face to face with the patterns of breathing that block us from vibrant life, or perhaps we watch as the small shallow breath drops softly down into the belly and brings us back to why we are here – back to our dreams and captive creative longings that can often be just a backdrop in the fabric of our lives.
In this place of solitude place your hands on your belly now and feel the warmth melt the hard protectiveness into a soft receptacle for the breath. Allow this soft belly breath to remind your ribcage and chest to expand in all directions. Watch, wait – even for just a moment in the life that stretches out before you – and know that it is now in this place of solitude that gifts are to be found. Do not struggle. Open the gate and walk barefoot on the soft path before you. Be still…..and allow yourself to be breathed.
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