Saturday, June 10, 2017

When a small bird sings, the whole world changes.


The next time you find yourself facing an expanse, whether it is a howling sea, a green valley, or a cold night sky, allow yourself to become aware of the envelope of air that you are in. Then try to notice the continuity of the air and the space before you. Breath.

Really breath.
As you breath, visualize the air and the space moving in and out of your lungs. Allow yourself to feel the life that the air and space support in YOU. Every breath, over the course of your whole life, IS your life. Allow yourself to feel this natural exchange of life.  
When you are ready, take a few deep breaths and with one, say your name. You can whisper it, just say it normally or shout it out loud. Keep your eyes open. After you say it, listen and watch. Watch the “you” in your name disperse into the space. Then listen for the space's response. What do you hear? And more importantly, what do you feel? Write it down.
We do this exercise early in our workshops because what you feel is an accurate reflection of your relationship to the cosmos. By doing this exercise occasionally, over time, we can use it as a way of checking in and seeing how your reflection changes. Eventually, you will find great joy in doing this exercise in even the most mundane scenarios and spaces.
In the woods you can imagine the mixing of your breath with that of the squirrels, birds, trees and crickets. In more public spaces, you can also imagine how sharing the air-space of everyone else unites us. This is the reality of an interconnected humanity and an interconnected cosmos.
The learning here is to understand how your body takes in the stuff of the world, reshapes it into you, and returns it changed to the world. In the process the world is changed too. The world imprints on you and you, in turn, imprint that unique thing that you are back into the world. But the two are inseparable. Neither exists without the other. The simple act of breathing is a visceral and vital reminder of the reality of this eternal, cyclical relationship. This is the cycle of being that's always right before your eyes and in the very act of breathing.

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