The Two Breaths – Foundation of Being

“This reflection comes from a conversation with a gifted photographer I met. His story helped confirm for me that we live a life in every breath. In truth, each heart-breath is an atom of life-force being born one more time. We as human beings have the incredible burden of sensitivity, but the incomparable reward of being awakened over and over again.

At a gathering in San Francisco, I met Marco, a careful and patient photographer from Santa Clara. When asked what surprised him during the last year, his voice began to quiver. He’d witnessed two breaths that had changed his life. His daughter’s first breath. Then his mother’s last breath. As his daughter inhaled the world, it seemed to awaken her soul on Earth. As his mother exhaled her years, it seemed to free her soul of the world. These two breaths jarred Marco to live more openly and honestly. He took these two breaths into his own daily breathing and quickly saw their common presence in everyone’s breathing. Is it possible that with each inhalation, we take in the world and awaken our soul? And with each exhalation, do we free ourselves of the world, which inevitably entangles us? Is this how we fill up and empty a hundred times a day, always seeking the gift of the two breaths? Perhaps this is the work of being.”

—excerpt from Seven Thousand Ways to Listen by Mark Nepo





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A Silence That Is A Fountain of Action and Joy

“There is in all things an inexhaustible sweetness and purity, a silence that is a fountain of action and joy.  It rises up in wordless gentleness and flows out from unseen roots of all created being.”  Thomas Merton

Sometimes I ask myself the question, “What am I doing with this one wild and precious life?”  My mind rushes into the past and conjures up what I have done…pretty extraordinary, and ordinary, all at the same time…or it rushes into the future – into those precious few days that I have left of this lifetime.  And then, like the wild child that it is, mind comes to a complete halt stubbornly refusing to budge….and then realizes that this is the place that it was seeking all along and plops down to rest in the stillness of the moment.

The silence where all is born, the creative well of possibility which delivers the clarity that reveals the next action to be taken.   And at the same time complete and absolute peace, well being, and yes – joy.  There is a saying “if not now, when?”  Over and over we rush headlong into our days forgetting that all around us there is a continuous fountain flowing from unseen roots feeding us from source

There are many roots we can choose from in order to drink from this fountain.  The breath is one of these.  Opportunities to connect in intimacy abound. G. I. Gurdjieff in “Views From the Real World” says:

“Our mind is like a cabby who sits in a pub and drives passengers to different places in his dreams. Trying to work with the mind alone will lead nowhere. The power of changing oneself lies not in the mind but in the body and feelings.”

What if, as in my yoga class today, you chose to root yourself in the breath, the souls of the feet,  the openness of your heart, or any single point of focus and allow the sediment of your day to drift down to the bottom of your being and clear the way for the experience of now.  No pretense.  No defenses.  Simply sharing internal worlds from an open heart and willingness to connect intimately with yourself, others, nature….. the world.

How would your life be then?


Gratitude to Keith Kachtick of Dharma Yoga, Austin, TX for once again an extraordinary class!



Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview and Reviews can be found here:

Heart Focused Breathing

At the recent Breathwork Summit put on by The Shift Network I was extremely privileged to hear many gifted and wise breath “experts” share their particular expertise and stories.  It was actually a delight!

Among those who spoke were Deborah Rozman and Rollin McCraty of HeartMath.  Since it is only days before Valentines Day I thought it appropriate to share some of their findings and practices here on BreathingSpaces.

The bottom line is that the heart rhythm is affected by our breath.  The heart then sends neural information to our brain on how to react based on how we are breathing.  The more shallow and faster the breath the more emotional response.  As we continue in the “fight or flight” or sympathetic nervous system response pattern the hearts more chaotic rhythm will send more input to the brain that then keeps our breathing stuck in the quick and shallow pattern.  As you can see this could be a vicious cycle!

If our heart rhythm is out of sync, as happens when our breathing rate is faster and more shallow when we are under stress of any kind, then we are out of what HeartMath calls “co-herence”.  This heart rhythm of co-herence is one that is natural and in balanced alignment with all systems of our body, mind and emotions.  It turns on the parasympathetic system – our natural restful state.

Here is a Heart Focused Breathing practice that you can use in times when stress hits and you feel your breath rhythm change:

1)  Focus your attention in the heart.  (you can place a hand there as well)

2)  Pretend the breath is going in and out of the heart.  Count to 5 with each inhale and 5 with each exhale. (A rhythm of co-herence)

3)  While you are doing this breath rhythm, focusing on breathing in and out of the heart, bring a positive feeling like gratitude, appreciation, and compassion –  or imagine a beautiful scene out in nature that makes you feel good.

In a short period of time you will come back into a heart rhythm of co-herence through focusing your breathing towards the heart. All systems will come back into alignment.  This only takes minutes and can be very effective.  (HeartMath also has a biofeedback device called EmWave that can actually show you when you come back into a smooth and life enhancing rhythm)

On this Valentine’s Day share a heart-focused breath with someone you love!



Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Book:

Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Available Now!

Happy Birth-Day to the long awaited book that has many of your favorite posts from BreathingSpaces within the pages!!  My heart is wide open as I deliver this book into your hands, hearts and souls.  My deepest wish is that this book will be of service to those who read it and that it will encourage pauses in life to simply be with the breath and the sacredness of this life we have been given.

Here is some advance praise as well as links where you can purchase one of three options – Downloadable with beautiful formatting and the ability to print out each week’s focus for a daily reminder; e-book for Kindle, iPad, etc; and soft cover spiral bound to place in your library as a treasured resource.  For a SNEAK PREVIEW go to: or the Our Daily Breath tab on this blog.

A Road-Map to Living an Inspired Life!

Richard Cawte, Ph.D.

That says it all.

Life has become so hectic for so many of us, with so many things to do every day (and never enough time to do them!). In Give us this Day our Daily Breath, Gaye Abbott gives us a clear, easy-to-follow guide that helps us find places of calmness and deep ease from which the day can emerge in a fresh, vibrant way.

We tend to pay attention to peripheral things in our lives and yet so often the very thing that sustains us – the act of breathing – is something we barely pause to consider. What I love about this book is that it brings the act of breathing to the forefront, allowing the reader to explore his or her relationship with the world through the breath itself. It’s an inspired piece of writing, flowing from the heart.  

Giving us weekly practices is a stroke of genius, because it makes it easy for the reader to experiment and adopt new ways of breathing bit-by-bit. That’s why I love the book so much. It’s more than just a book. It’s a road-map to living an in-spired life, a step-by-step manual that invites us to align ourselves with the rhythms of the natural world – and then shows us how.  

Life throws up many challenges, but as Gaye says: “the breath is a tool to anchor you. Allow it to be the constant thread around which you weave your life.” Wonderful advice.

Truly a book to read, delight, rest and reflect in!

Richard Cawte, Ph.D., International Business & Author of the Natural Wealth Course,


Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath is a wise, graceful, kind and gently humorous guide to awakening more fully through weekly explorations of breath.
By relating the natural breathing rhythms to the cycle of the seasons, Gaye Abbott invites readers to reconnect with a sense of being at home on Earth and in our bodies. This fresh perspective combines with personal story and observation to offer valuable new insight into the healing and transformational power of breathing.

Lea Bayles, M.A., transformational coach, speaker and author, creator of the Replenish Your Soul series of guided meditations,


Give Us this Day our Daily Breath is a wonderful book born from Gaye Abbott’s decades-long practice of yoga, meditation, awareness, mindfulness and joy, celebrating the breath each and every day like the gift and prayer that it is.   Inspirational, creative, healing and practical, Gaye offers insights, exercises and easy-to-follow practices that allow us to fully appreciate and embody this act of breathing and all it contains. Gaye writes, “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 millennia 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 often have people sit back to back and feel their own breath first, then connect with the breath rhythm of the other without attempting to change theirs. Almost everyone noticed, in a short period of time, that the breath would synchronize and become one. 

Perhaps it was always 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 one of us joined another – or others – in sharing a peaceful breath rhythm. Would the world change?” 

Yes it would, and with Gaye as our guide, it is bound to. And what a joyful and transformational journey it will be. Thank you Gaye for giving us this day our daily breath and reminding us of the incredible beauty, grace and power of this thing called breath that we too often take for granted!

Leza Lowitz, #1 bestselling Author of Yoga Heart: Lines on the Six Perfections

OFFERINGS: Downloadable (Instant PDF Download Below) with beautiful formatting and the ability to print out each week’s focus for a daily reminder OR through LuLu – e-book (EPub/iPad, Nook, Kindle etc); and soft cover spiral bound or regular soft bound to place in your library as a treasured resource!

PDF Instant Download – $9.97

E-book & Soft Cover Spiral Bound Versions

Also Available HERE

Ebook : –
Regular bound soft cover: –—paperback/18852066
Spiral/coil bound soft cover :-—coil-bound/18852103

Be A Breath of Life

Baha’i Prayer for Peace

Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity.
Be fair in thy judgement, and guarded in thy speech.
Be a lamp unto those who walk in darkness, and a home to the stranger.
Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring.
Be a breath of life to the body of humankind,
a dew to the soil of the human heart,
and a fruit upon the tree of humility.

The shape of our life depends on how willing we are to create a masterpiece.  As my life unfolds itself I sometimes wonder what shape it will take next….forgetting that it is in my hands as I take a breath,  release it completely, and trust that I will be guided within the spaciousness that shows up with the next exhale.

Do you forget that the person standing next to you in the interminably long line is affected by the quality of your breath?  In fact the person sitting at the edge of the Ganges mourning the loss of a loved one is also affected by your breath, as is the whale that breaches out of the depths of the ocean.  The question is, will you be a catalyst for love and peace….or yet another addition to the anxiety and fear that strangles and contracts the life that we all have been given?

The choice is to be a breath of life, even amidst our own fears and longings.  Your life and those dear to you, as well as the entire planet, need your breath of life.  Since we all share the air would it not be a good practice to relax into the next exhale with all of the love you can possibly embody in one brief moment of time?  There is the peace….


BOOK LAUNCH on 2/26/12!  Watch for the availability of Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath this month.  Available in download, spiral bound, and e-book forms on this blog site as well as ResonanceWithLife!  See a sample on the Our Daily Breath tab above.


Occupy Breath

“Love is the felt experience of connection to another being. An economist says ‘more for you is less for me.’ But the lover knows that more of you is more for me too. If you love somebody their happiness is your happiness. Their pain is your pain. Your sense of self expands to include other beings. This shift of consciousness is universal in everybody, 99% and 1%.” ~ Charles Eisenstein

Today I had the powerful experience of viewing a taste of the upcoming feature documentary, Occupy Love.  It reminded me once again of the powerful shift in consciousness that is happening globally right now, and I do believe that the internet has a great deal to do with it.  Many indigenous peoples have know for centuries of the deep interconnection that connects us all.  They called it the web of life.  Yet, little did they know that we would “artificially” create this “web” with our technology in the years to come.

Many of us experience this interconnectedness on a deeply felt level every single day of our lives. We are all empathic.   You only have to go out into nature and observe for a little bit to see this fact in vivid display.

Our breath is just as interconnected as the internet, the bees in a hive, a pod of dolphins on the other side of the world, the atoms that make up the body you are inhabiting, or a group of people that have chosen to “Occupy Wall St”.

The only reason why you have enough air to breathe is that we have an unspoken agreement that all life will share it together.  We are gifting it to each other – every human, plant, mountain, animal, insect, cell, river.   Somewhere under all the strife, wars, economic greed, consumerism and self absorption there is a blueprint for conscious and heart felt giving.  That blueprint is becoming clearly visible now and is harder and harder to disregard.

In our every inhale and exhale we are giving and receiving….an atmosphere teeming with life – our life.  Since we are intimately and consciously sharing the air we breathe with every living thing, how can we feel separate?  Occupy your breath fully so that the gifts you have to bring to the world are clearly coming from a fully embodied human in touch with the heart of matters.

“What we want to create is the more beautiful world our hearts tell us is possible. A sacred world. A world that works for everybody. A world that is healing. A world of peace. ”  Occupy Wall St – The Revolution Is Love

There is one way of breathing that is shameful and constricted.  Then there’s another way; a breath of love that takes you all the way to infinity.”
-   Rumi  (new offerings!)

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT: (Richard Cawte, Ph.D. most recent post is on “Making Connections”) (Check out the Daily Breath page for a video of me and a Sneak Preview of a new book coming out in January 2012!)

Breathe Through Your Heart


Years of “meditation”, formal and informal, have taught me that fully being present to  life moments is truly the “meditation” that will change not only our individual lives, but all that we touch and beyond.   This practice of awareness  has the potential to open possibilities for free creative expression, connection, and collaboration in all the varied forms that it takes.

As we pay particular attention to the feelings that are informing our hearts, the electromagnetic currents radiate out and energetically connect all over the world. Global shift and transformation come from this – this deep interconnection with all of life.  What we do individually really does matter.

The power that we hold collectively is beyond measure.  It is not only being felt more strongly now, but more of us are coming together to create change in alignment with the health of the planet and well being of all living creatures.   There is no separation.

Praying for the water that has been contaminated by radioactivity, joining 1,000‘s of others meditating for peace and non-violence, breathing together as one on behalf of those that have been affected by disaster…..there is no action that is taken, nor event that transpires, that is not felt by all.

As we breathe fully we are able to inhabit our lives with awareness – to break the structures of our lives that have kept us imprisoned.  As we breathe fully we can feel fully….and no matter what those feelings are, or how difficult they may be,  they are shared by many.  You are not alone…no never alone.

Even physiologically each of us reduce our hearts work when we breathe fully and naturally.   This produces a stronger and more efficient heart that not only works better, but also lasts longer.  It reduces the cardiac rhythm, and at the same time our nervous system is relaxed, helping us to feel better, with more energy and an increase in tranquility….which of course is transmitted to the life around us.

We have a choice.   First open your heart to yourself and in this moment breathe through your heart.   Soften your belly – allow the guarding and protection to melt away.  Just for this moment….and the next….and the next…..and the next.  Breathe through your heart.