Non-Separation and the Breath

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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 MillerMiller, 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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941546_10201139084457154_1085573193_nOTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:
www.WildlyFreeWoman.com
www.NaturalWealthJournal.com

Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview, Reviews and purchase links can be found here:Breath-Book-coverW2(1)
http://resonancewithlife.com/daily-breath-book/

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Exhale and Relax…..

Here we are in the last month of summer and Fall is looming ever more closely.  Here in Austin it remains in the 100’s and will stay quite warm through most of September.  Summer for many often means taking time off for rest, recreation and travel, but there is a frenetic quality to this warmest season of the year that leaves a lot of people “burnt out” and over stimulated.

Being able to relax your body at will is a life skill that adds not only to in the moment joy, richness and satisfaction, but also to overall health, well being and longevity.  What if there was a tool that you had at your disposal every single moment to inhabit a calmer place even in the midst of stress and life challenges?

Rick Hanson Ph.D. author of Buddha’s Brain (which is an excellent book by the way!) gives some ways in which to activate the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) – rest and digest – that calms down the fight-or-flight sympathetic nervous system in his book Just One Thing(27-28). Three out of five tips listed are all about the breath!

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*”Do several long exhalations, since the PNS handles exhaling.  For example, inhale for a count of 3, and exhale for a count of 6.”

*”For a minute or more, breathe in such a way that your inhalation and exhalation are equally long; count mentally up to 5 for each inhalation and each exhalation.  This creates small but smooth changes in the interval between heartbeats – since the heart speeds up slightly with inhalation and slows down slowly with exhalation which is associated with relaxation and well being. (Kristal-Boneh, et al 1995)”

*”Relax your diaphragm – the muscle underneath your lungs that helps suck air into them – by putting your hand on your stomach, just below your ribcage, and then trying to breathe in a way that pushes your hand half an inch or so away from your backbone. (This is especially helpful if you are feeling anxious).”

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As you attempt to fit in a few more summer activities and find them more stressful than enjoyable remember that your exhale will stimulate the rest and relaxation response in your body and mind.  It doesn’t take long to simply take a few conscious breaths with an intention of lengthening the exhale and relaxing the diaphragm.

You might be surprised at how easy it is to simply exhale and relax….

WEBSITE:  www.ResonanceWithLife.com

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:
www.WildlyFreeWoman.com
www.NaturalWealthJournal.com

Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview and Reviews can be found here:
http://resonancewithlife.com/daily-breath-book/