The Lessons of Murmuration

This past week I was fortunate to have come across a video that took my breath away with wonder.  Wonder and awe at the amount of interconnection that is present in our everyday moments.  Most often we overlook this and don’t pause to consider that even the next breath that we take will affect every single living thing on this beautiful planet of ours.

The following was written by Brandon Kiem on “Wired Science” about this stunning display by thousands of starlings :

Video of a massive starling flock turning and twisting over a river in Ireland has gone viral, and with good reason. Flocking starlings are one of nature’s most extraordinary sights: Just a few hundred birds moving as one is enough to convey a sense of suspended reality, and the flock filmed above the River Shannon contained thousands.

What makes possible the uncanny coordination of these murmurations, as starling flocks are so beautifully known? Until recently, it was hard to say. Scientists had to wait for the tools of high-powered video analysis and computational modeling. And when these were finally applied to starlings, they revealed patterns known less from biology than cutting-edge physics.

Starling flocks, it turns out, are best described with equations of “critical transitions” — systems that are poised to tip, to be almost instantly and completely transformed, like metals becoming magnetized or liquid turning to gas. Each starling in a flock is connected to every other. When a flock turns in unison, it’s a phase transition.

At the individual level, the rules guiding this are relatively simple. When a neighbor moves, so do you. Depending on the flock’s size and speed and its members’ flight physiologies, the large-scale pattern changes. What’s complicated, or at least unknown, is how criticality is created and maintained.

It’s easy for a starling to turn when its neighbor turns — but what physiological mechanisms allow it to happen almost simultaneously in two birds separated by hundreds of feet and hundreds of other birds? That remains to be discovered, and the implications extend beyond birds. Starlings may simply be the most visible and beautiful example of a biological criticality that also seems to operate in proteins and neurons, hinting at universal principles yet to be understood.”

Take a look at this video and notice what you feel as you witness it:

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

An intimately choreographed dance which cannot be explained merely by science.  This is the miracle of interconnection on display for us to see instead of just feel.  As the air holds these birds in a dance of wholeness and energy the breath of the women below witnessing this miracle is contained within the same air as the birds.

How do we explain these phenomena?   Perhaps we just remember that it is the same vibration that holds us in deep interconnection as well.  We are just as much a part of this murmuration as they are to us.  We have just forgotten….

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The Miracle of Life Breathing

The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the earth in the present moment;  

to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.

– Thich Nhat Hanh


LIFE BREATHING

All around us everything is breathing
Listen carefully
for you may miss the soft exhale
of the flower on the vine.
Or the inhale of rich brown soil
from the earthworm beneath your foot.

Butterfly wings waft the air
towards you as an offering
While bird songs are heard
in a series of exhales
As the tree that shelters
releases a leaf to the ground

Chimes move in the breeze
creating the sound of the breath
in notes sung in tune
with the expansion and contraction
of the Earth – all in union with
your next inhale….. and exhale

Be present to life breathing around you
mindful of the artful ways that
breath pulses among the
minutest of cells and atoms
woven amidst the field of being
that captures each one of us within the next inhale

All breathing for and with each other
An exchange of intimacy that
connects us in levels so deep
that even the whale in the ocean depths
senses into the next breath
that you will take.

Be still for just a moment and listen
to the symphony of breath
that fills every moment
with the exquisite pleasure
of being Alive Now.  Life is breathing.
Listen….listen

~Gaye Abbott/2011

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Over the many years that I have spent in the study and practice of meditation and imagery I have never come across something with so much depth and potential for deepening and relaxing the mind and body.  

In Sanctuary Creation Richard Cawte’s gentle voice and beautifully detailed imagery take you down into a sensual world of nature where color, breath, and beauty activate all of the senses and drop you into a depth of being from which you can discover what it is like to fully embody your life’s moments.  

What greater tool for daily life than something like this that can be activated and created within you at any time!”   

~ Gaye Abbott, Registered Yoga Teacher

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:
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www.WildlyFreeWoman.com