A few years ago a story of the consciousness of interconnection unfolded right before my eyes. This happened from a place of non-separation, or in other words a real sense of oneness between people and nature. It is a simple story really – one of three men and a tree.
Two of the men were leaders within their Balinese community. One man had cut down a tree without permission from his community village. You see in Bali one must obtain the permission of the entire village before cutting down a tree. The sense of interconnectedness with nature and among themselves pervades the Balinese culture.
These two leaders were discussing – with tears flowing down their faces – what kind of consequences the man who had cut down the tree must face. He had apparently done this before, most likely for carving art pieces to sell, so the discussion was a serious one. I never found out what they did decide, but I did get to sit with one of the leaders and share meditation and mutual discussion about cultures translated through his brother. I thanked him for this beautiful living example of deep awareness on how each interconnected being or life form intimately affects another.
How is it that we forget that we are not separate from anything or anyone when our breath tells us that we are constantly intimately connected. We share the very air we breathe with all living things. My dear friend and lifelong mentor, Richard Miller, Ph.D of iRest (grounded and concrete tools to come back home to a place of non-separation and well being) spoke eloquently on non-separation at the Summer of Peace through The Shift Network recently. He emphasized that the ultimate healing for all humans lies first in our sense of separation from ourselves and secondly the “other”, or the world outside of ourselves.
In a recent class I was privileged to facilitate – Decrease Anxiety, Indulge Inner Peace – I remember saying that I believe the core of anxiety comes from when we go away from or leave behind our deep purpose in life, which comes from our wholeness. This results in feeling a sense of separation. This very sense of separation activates anxiety.
Our strong innate imprinting to belong and to survive as we grow up into adults often times takes us away from the very sense of already belonging/deep interconnection that is a gift we are given at birth. This leave taking from our feeling of harmony with ourselves and life itself brings us to “war” within and without.
Deep abiding inner peace and equanimity brings us home to the state of non-separation, or as Richard says “non-dual” state of being. What better tool to resonate with than the breath to remind us over and over and over that we are an integral part of the whole and never separate. Inhale connected to exhale sharing with an abundant circle of life in the moment. When we resonate this peaceful place those around us will attune to the same state.
Be the change you wish to see in the world….come back home.
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3 thoughts on “Non-Separation and the Breath”
Wonderful! Especially the Balinese men, and their concern for the man who cut the tree. Have been to Bali – and was gifted by the beauty of the people and their sense of all-inclusiveness.
Yes! The Balinese are teachers for us all as to what is really important in life. Thank you for your comment. I loved it!!