The Miracle of Breathing and Consciousness
Most of us take our breathing for granted. The great Taoist sage Chuang Tzu says that most of us breathe from our throats, and that real human beings breathe from their heels. One might ask here if we are real human beings. Are we exploring through presence, through awareness, what it means to be truly human? If our breathing is from the throat or the upper chest, which it is for many of us (although we may not know it), then we can think all the grandiose and spiritual thoughts we desire but we will never experience an authentic sense of human wholeness, which depends on a conscious relationship of mind, body, and spirit, a relationship that natural, harmonious breathing can help foster.
So many of us today live unconscious, fragmentary, disharmonious lives driven by fear, guilt, anger, anxiety, and tension. “Out of touch with the earth, with never a glance toward the sky” (Kenneth Patchen), we rush away from the past and into the future in pursuit of progress and “a better life” with little appreciation for the miraculous breath of now, the only time and place we can truly live. This anxiety-filled rush into the future, fueled as it is by our belief in our habitual thoughts, concepts, judgments, and reactive emotions, as well as by our often constricted breathing, creates a myriad of so-called problems that we think we can solve with the very same mind that created them in the first place. And as we search for solutions, spiritual or otherwise, our lives and our breathing become increasingly narrow and constricted–unable to manifest the mystery and miracle of our innermost being, unable to manifest the intelligence, kindness, love, and compassion that lie at the heart of the breath of life being breathed into us at every moment.
Going Beyond the Boundaries of the Conditioned Mind
My work is to help us see and go beyond the boundaries of the conditioned mind–the habitual constellation of thoughts, emotions, sensations, beliefs, and judgments that each of us calls “myself”–and to help open us to the vast breadth of the life force as it manifests through us at this very moment. My work is to help us explore and awaken, in a harmonious way, to who and what we really are in our essence, to the freedom of real presence and consciousness–the freedom to see and say “yes” to the miracle of what is.
Whatever noble aims we may have, paths we may be on, or necessary efforts we may make, our only real freedom is to awaken now, this very instant, to the mystery and miracle of being, to the spacious awareness that we are. It is only this immediate awakening to the deepest levels of ourselves, to the conscious source that connects us all, that will enable us to experience and manifest real harmony, intelligence, kindness, love, and compassion in our lives and bring about the transformation in the world that we all wish for.
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