There are just two breaths that separate us from this world of maya and the Celestial World. That first breath as we enter into this dimension, and that last breath when we leave.
In between those two breaths is a lifetime of unfolding breaths filled with laughter, sadness, tears, anger, anxiety, joy, depression, grief, love. The list is long. Sometimes the breath stops while we are laughing so hard our stomachs ache and we gasp for more air. Sometimes it stops when we experience a moment of shock and we don’t even realize we are holding our breath, until our body insists that it keeps breathing, and so it does. That is, until it doesn’t, and we are free to return to our True Home. We may even experience breaths in between that bring us very close to our original Source, so close that we feel merged with the Creator, but as long as we are here, and breathing in this realm, we cannot be completely in the realm of the Heavens until our very last breath.
The Buddhists call this a Precious Human Life, and so it is. We get to explore the world through our thoughts, and our creativity. We get to act out our desires, and learn from our experiences, the good, the bad, and the ugly. We perceive the world through our senses. And while we are here, we all get to share the exact same thing that keeps all of us here, - The Breath.
You cannot point to another person and say that they are different from you because they breathe something other than air, or that the air they breathe is more special than what you breathe, or your air is better than theirs. In the same way that we are all energetically connected through Source, the Divine Creator, we are also connected by the air that we breathe. We all need this air for our survival while we are here, and that which we expel is what sustains the plant life that we share this planet with. This is true recycling.
There is no extra air for planet Earth either. There is no sacred hoard of oxygen stored on some mysterious planet waiting to be used because we have completely destroyed that which we have now. Nope. The air that exists today is the same air that existed tens of thousands of years ago. So the very air that I breathe today could in fact have been in and out of the lungs of my ancestors, or Jesus the Christ, or Buddha. It could also have been what sustained Hitler, or Jack the Ripper. Air does not discriminate. It does not recognize one person as being “worthy of breathing” more than another.
Air just is.
The most widely used meditation practice is to simply follow the breath. In this practice one focuses on the In Breath, being mindful of filling the lungs, and then on the Out Breath, which is just as important, allowing the breath to slowly be released. The perfect see-saw. The bridge between this realm and the next.
I actually started writing this blog several weeks ago, before the horrifying death of George Floyd, who we all now know was saying “I can’t breathe,” as a police officer knelt on his neck. It goes beyond irony that George’s last breaths were with the words, “I can’t breathe.” It was with the collective gasp of horror as we all watched these events unfold, the protests, the outrage, the despair that caused me to pause in my writing, and stop, listen, and try to learn.
The picture before me is one of people struggling to breathe physically and metaphorically. The physical image is the obvious one, the pain so real, the suffering wrenching to our hearts and minds. The metaphorical image is just as obvious to me. For millennia, so many people around the globe have been held hostage because of their skin color, or their religious beliefs, or for imagined crimes committed only in the mind of the perceiver. We see this with a heavy sadness, but there isn’t a soul among us whose Higher Self doesn’t look upon this with great compassion.
As humans we experience this as a tragedy, but on a deeper conscious level, perhaps we can recognize what a great lesson this is too. We still have much work to do towards equality for every man, woman and child, regardless of their race or religion, and these events expose the true colors of people’s hearts and minds, but with that exposure we now know where to look to see what needs to be repaired. There is less hiding in the dark. The Light is reaching in to every nook and cranny.
Sometimes the breaths in between the first one and last one are too few. That last breath may come too soon, and not of our own doing. All the more reason to be mindful of the precious breaths in between. “The word breath and soul, or spirit, are synonymous in many ancient languages.
The Sanskrit word ‘prana,’ the Latin ‘spiritus,’ the Greek ‘pneuma,’ the Hebrew ‘ruach’ and the Old Norse ‘önd,’ are all words that unify the concepts of breath and spirit.” – Sacred Breath Institute.
Every breath is sacred, from the new born baby saying “hello,” to the much loved grandparent saying “good-bye,” and we are wise to be mindful of each one we take in between.
I have a blessing posted on my mirror that I read every day. It came from some friends several years ago and it has meant so much to me. It grounds me, gives me focus, and reminds me how precious each breath truly is.
“May every breath be a blessing to you.
May every breath be a blessing to our world.
May every breath guide you.”
Om shanti, shanti, shanti.
You can share your mindful intentions while wearing one of our Sacred Breath tees from our Sacred Elements Collection