When we come together with another life form we share the breath in the air that surrounds us. We take of the same breath so to speak. Down through the millennium this has continued. In fact we are breathing and sharing the recycled air of the dinosaurs, the very first humans, the dolphins, and the trees.
In many of the classes, workshops and retreats I have facilitated in the past I often had people sit back to back and feel their own breath first, then connect with the breath rhythm of the other without changing theirs. Almost everyone noticed, in a short period of time, that the breath would synchronize and become one.
Perhaps it was one to begin with… Through this interconnected basic biological process we can feel each other, and with acute knowing understand what is within the other – even if we do not consciously acknowledge it. What if each of us joined another – or others – in sharing a peaceful breath rhythm with each other? Would the world change?
Remember these wise words from Thich Nhat Hahn as we breathe in each others presence:
You are me, and I am you.
Isn’t it obvious that we “inter-are”?
You cultivate the flower in yourself, so that I
will be beautiful.
I transform the garbage in myself, so that you will not
have to suffer.
I support you;
you support me.
I am in this world to offer you peace;
you are in this world to bring me joy.
–Thich Nhat Hanh
The Feeling Underneath
Be A Lake
An aging master grew tired of his apprentice complaining, and so, one morning, sent him for some salt.
When the apprentice returned, the master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a
glass of water and then to drink it. “How does it taste?” the master asked. “Bitter,” spit the apprentice. The
master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The
two walked in silence to the nearby lake, and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water,
the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.” As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master
asked, “How does it taste?” “Fresh,” remarked the apprentice. “Do you taste the salt?” asked the master.
“No,” said the young man. At this, the master sat beside the young man and said, “The pain of life is pure
salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount of
bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing
you can do is to enlarge your sense of things…stop being a glass. Become a lake.
-a Hindu story
ANNOUNCING! Global Breathing Events:
On Wednesday, March 9th from 12PM – 3PM (PST) and 8PM – 11PM (GMT) Do As One is collaborating with Tree of Life Celebration to come together in the breath celebrating unity consciousness. As we enter into the Ninth Wave of the Mayan calender we invite you to join us in the Universal Breathing Room on DoAsOne.com!
On Sunday, March 20th from 12PM – 3PM (PST) and 8PM – 11PM (GMT) Do As One invites you to breathe together and usher in the Spring and Fall Equinox. People around the world will be celebrating the change of seasons by uniting in one breath.
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“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life and see if I could not learn what it had to teach and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
Henry David Thoreau, from Walden
In every breath we awaken. At least we have the opportunity to awaken. What do I mean by awaken? In this case what I am drawing your attention to is the possibility that is nested within each breath.
There is a potential for saying yes to your life, or the choice to stay safe and cling to ways of being that are “comfortable”, or in other words deeply engrained in your every day way of being.
What if you started feeling into the whole of the breath, the entirety of the journey here? As in beautiful classical music, each listener is taken on a journey and each musician is on one as well. Will they chose to linger over every note to “get it right”? Or, will they feel into the whole of the journey and go where the music takes them, even when that means unfamiliar territory in the depth of expression.
Will life and breath play through you, or will you attempt to control life and contract your breath? This is an important question to pose and live within. I am learning that there is no control in a life lived freely and openly – there is only trust and being mindfully present to ones path. Paying attention to your life as if it really mattered….knowing that each breath absolutely matters!
Benjamin Zander, conductor, teacher and speaker – among other things – talks to us about “classical music with shining eyes” on a TED talk which is below. This is a brilliant expression of paying attention to your life as if it really mattered, and while doing so awakening possibility in other people.
Pay attention to the possibility in each breath….
TED talk with Benjamin Zander
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Here you will find the symbols of Inhale and Exhale. There is an ancient practice called Qi Gong, or Chi Kung, which relies on the breath as an integral piece of the practice. Qi Gong is described as: “the philosophy and practice of aligning breath, physical activity and awareness for mental, spiritual and corporeal health, as well as the development of human potential. It includes certain forms of martial arts and the spiritual awakening to one’s true nature.”
Like Dan Brule of BreathMastery (who’s website offers 5 core breath practices) you might see in these symbols the following:
“I see in the symbol for the exhale a bold vertical stroke that reminds me of the spine. It has what appears to be a serpent rising and coiling upward around the spine. (depicting what in Yogic literature is called the “Kundalini Serpent”). That same vertical stoke appears on the inhale too. But on the inhale, I see a downward diagonal stroke shooting thru what looks like a rounded belly. This reminds me to send the breath deep into the abdomen. Directing the breath energy into the “dan tien” is a basic practice in Chi Kung.”
It is within this movement of inhale and exhale that we live and thrive. In the rising like a serpent up the spine, and the softening of the rounded belly, we move the life energy/chi that is necessary for our vital health and aliveness.
In our often sedentary lifestyles in the Western culture that natural breath is squelched and contracted into a shallow chest effort that often never, ever gets down to our bellies, let alone front, back and sides. Stagnation and dis-ease converge on our already stimulus overloaded bodies and we lose our zest for life – or perhaps life itself.
This on the other hand is what we aim for: “For the most part, when the breathing mechanism is uninhibited, it will reflect and express your moment to moment natural state. A healthy breathing mechanism will automatically adjust itself to your energy. It will respond naturally to chemical or metabolic changes, to the intensity of your emotional experience or physical activity. And, it should respond easily effortlessly to your conscious will.” Dan Brule
Continually seeking practices that enhance the practice of breathing consciously, shake us lose from our inhibited and habitual breath patterns, and that increase life energy there appeared on my Facebook page today a very fun video with Dr. George Love (http://www.freewebs.com/4doorstohealth/) of Baton Roca, Florida. Dr. Love is an acupuncturist, Doctor of Oriental Medicine, and a Master of Blue Dragon Qigong. I don’t think that he will be able to make his living doing rap….but what he does have to offer here is a way to move that chi around and BREATHE! Have fun!!
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It takes only one breath to commit to stilling that single moment into a creative listening space. A space that brings the depth of what it is to live and love NOW. What better gift can we give to ourselves, each other, and our planet in a time when there is so much stimulation to distract us from the importance of simply listening…being present.
Creative Listening by Wilferd A. Peterson.
One of the most important habits of a creative thinker is to be a good listener. Stand guard at the ear-gateway to your mind, heart, and spirit.
Listen to the good. Tune your ears to love, hope, and courage. Tune out gossip and resentment.
Listen to the beautiful. Listen to the music of the masters. Listen to the symphony of nature–the hum of the wind in the treetops, bird songs, thundering surf. . .
Listen critically. Mentally challenge assertions, ideas, and philosophies. Seek the truth with an open mind.
Listen with patience. Do not hurry the other person. Show them the courtesy of listening to what they have to say, no matter how much you may disagree. You may learn something.
Listen with your heart. Practice empathy when you listen. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
Listen for growth. Be an inquisitive listener. Ask questions. Everyone has something to say which will help you to grow.
Listen creatively. Listen for ideas or the germs of ideas. Listen for hints or clues that may spark creative projects.
Listen to yourself. Listen to your deepest yearnings, your highest aspirations, your noblest impulses. Listen to the better person within you.
Listen with depth. Be still and listen. Listen with the ear of intuition to the inspiration of the Infinite.
As you still the breath a gateway to Creative Listening unfolds. Watch for the many forms that this practice can take. It can be the self listening that these men did….
TC Bank – Dream Rangers
…or simply receiving the Words of Love from your local community…and Saying It Forward
BREATHE AND LISTEN....
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After my neighbors dog took me for a brisk walk along my country road this morning I was acutely aware of how intimately we are connected with all that breathes and is alive. This weekend we have a unique opportunity to breathe with people all over the globe in synchronicity. As ElevateUs states, “The tides are turning, in all walks of life and all corners of the planet. Humanity is stepping out of the shadows of ‘what has been’ by calling into question the very fundamentals – how we live, what we serve, who we are.”
Each of us can choose to be a part of this. When you harmonize with others in a flow of breathing it unites us in a way that is beyond the mind, and connects on levels of the heart and beyond. Breathing together can powerfully unite us and is an intimate way to deepen the awareness of the interconnection that is always there. We all share the Earth’s gift of breath.
Let us join with the Dalai Lama this weekend, and with each other every day this year, to elevate the practices of love, compassion, abundance, and joy throughout the world. The Universal Breathing Room at Do As One has partnered with the Dalai Lama who has called forth 10,000 monks to help initiate the teachings of the Buddha Maitreya. This is the first time in history that a Dalai Lama has conducted this blessing, intended to elevate love and compassion for all people. Breathe with them at this link: http://www.elevate.us
Take this practice and come to the Universal Breathing Room frequently to simply breathe in flow with others worldwide on a daily basis. There is a global map where you can see where people in other locations are also joining in, and 3 other “rooms” you can go to – the Full Spectrum Breathing Room, where you can harmonize with the chakra colors as you breathe; a Universal Laughter room; and a Universal Om Room.
Take 5 minutes a day to join in and check in with the energy, feelings, and insights that catch your awareness!
Take a Deep Breath NOW!
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