Are You Aware Of Your Breath?

Grotto in an iceberg, photographed during the ...

Deep, Shallow

In & Out

Expand, Contract

Gentle or Harsh

As it goes in giving life, breath is one common thing that all creatures living have regardless of species, gender, color, caste and creed.  Breath is indiscriminatory in nature although it manifests differently in each,  given their circumstance, situation and feelings in any given moment.  The fundamental necessity that distinguishes between life and death, an involuntary but completely taken granted for, until no more – A vital component which determines if I can move or not, if my existence is guaranteed or not – that vital component that absolutely determines and makes my mark on this planet – is so taken for granted.

I assure myself that because I can breathe now, I can in the next minute as well.  I act as if it is seamless and yet between each breath lies my life’s guarantee, between exhale and inhale can my story be finished.  Flared out lungs may not necessarily contract in and yet I act as though they have come with a promissory note.  Well they did.

The day I was born, my lungs had a time stamped on them, a ‘best before’ date written on them, a ‘use by date’ that only the hands that printed on them can see, a shelf life that is predetermined and yet can go off any minute.

Do I need to know the exact date to determine how I am to live today or is it enough for me to know that there is an expirty date that could be as soon as between next inhale and exhale or as late as a billion or trillion or countless exhales later? Countless in my mind yet a count has begun with my first exhale the day I was born.

So how am I to live?

Every breath in writes a memory only to be etched deeper with every breath out.  At the last breath halfway between exhaling a whole of eternity will pass.  The tiny space between the in and out is where the world is held as memories. There is no good or bad, no right or wrong, just life coming in and going out,  bringing with it stories that create memories.

A truth about our need to tell our story unfolding today in its struggles and triumphs is –  when we penetrate into the space between the two breaths, we accept that pain and pleasure are inseparable, we cannot have one without the other.  In that acceptance life flows.

In Out, Expand, Contract – we  need to focus only on expansion.  An expansion painted on the waves of life only guaranteed until the next gushing in tide which may or may not arrive.

So how do you treat your breath? Do you take it for granted or are you consciously aware of each in and out?

It is difficult to be in that constant awareness, but a few minutes spent in silence every couple of hours during the waking time, just becoming aware of the breath and being thankful for it, brings things back into perspective.

What practice can you establish to become aware of your breath and give thanks to its presence?

Do tell me……….

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari