Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu
Buddhist, sufi, or zen. Not any religion
or cultural system.
I am not from the East
or the West, not out of the ocean or up
from the ground, not natural or ethereal, not
composed of elements at all.
I do not exist, am not an entity in this world or in the next,
did not descend from Adam and Eve or any
origin story. My place is placeless, a trace
of the traceless. Neither body or soul.
I belong to the beloved, have seen the two
worlds as one and that one call to and know,
first, last, outer, inner, only that breath breathing human being.
From Essential Rumi
by Coleman Barks
Prana is the Sanskrit word for life force – this is our vital energy that flows into us with each breath and out of us with each word, thought, and action.
Every time we inhale, we fill our bodies with this life force infusing every cell with renewed purpose. triggering transformation at the deepest level, and connecting to the universal source of all life.
Just like blinking our eyes – every breath we take often flows by without our knowledge. We breath between 4 and 24 times every minute and each inhale triggers a transformation at the cellular level – nourishing our blood with oxygen, fueling our brain and organs, and sparking the metabolism of food, chemicals, information, and thought.
And yet hours often go by where we are not even aware that we are breathing. We’re also not aware how often we hold our breath in those stressful moments …denying our body and withholding our mind from access to this magnificent vital energy which has the power to move mountains.
This week, let’s begin the celebration of our breath. Let’s make a conscious effort to put some attention…some awareness on the simple act, which we can so easily take for granted. Our breath is holy. It connects us to our body, slows the swirl of our mind, creates union with those around us, and brings us to the sacred, precious, present moment where we are whole, and pure, and perfect, and abundant, and infinite. We just need a gentle reminder.
We can start by writing the word BREATHE on a few pieces of paper or post-it notes and place them on your monitor, the dashboard of your car, your bathroom mirror, your kitchen counter…even the corner of your TV!! Whenever you see the word – no matter what you are doing – breathe. Change your screen saver to BREATHE so every time you return to your computer you are subtly reminded to pause for a moment and nourish yourself with an inhale.
When you find yourself in a stressful situation and you begin to feel overwhelmed or emotionally charged – BREATHE. Whether you practice 16 seconds to bliss, quiet continuous breath, heart breathing, nadi shodhana, belly breathing or the technique we practiced today in the meditation, you can shift the energy of the moment simply by activating your own vital energy.
Make a commitment to breathe this weekend, and email me at info@davidji to share how it makes you feel. Have a beautiful weekend and keep breathing. Peace. -davidji