why we breathe

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The burning question is, how do we connect with our deeper humanity? How do we grow down and take root so that we can experience ourselves as part of a greater cycle, member of a bigger family, not just someone carried along passively on a stream of change?

It doesn’t matter where we start, I learned. It only matters that we let the questions deepen. We can start with notions so literal and weak they make us wince to think of later. When the Buddha spoke of being an island he didn’t mean be cut off from the flow of life. By being an island, he meant dare to touch the earth of your own living experience in the present moment. He meant dare to relax and travel from the surface to the depths, from thinking and emotional reactions to deeper human feelings and insights. He meant to sit down and join the circle. He knew that when we return to the life of the body, the basic experience of being here—breathing in and out, sensing the air on the skin and the beating heart—can often blossom into a feeling of how good it is to be here. He knew that the simple act of returning to the breath and the body can return us to the great cycle of nature and to the ancestors. It can remind us how amazing it is to be alive. We may have a feeling of basic communion with others who live. When we really understand that there is no escape from time’s passage, no escape from life, we may find ourselves bringing our whole lives to each moment. Sometimes, we may even feel as if our ancestors are with us, witnessing life through our eyes. We may see that this awareness itself is a gift and that we can give back. We can find freedom for ourselves and those who came before.   ~Tracy Cochran

we never really surrender. we lament. we endure. we dwell.

inquiry for today~   can you simply feel good about your life today? regardless of circumstances?

always shedding days

Statio calls us to a sense of reverence for slowness and mindfulness. We can open up a space within for God to work. We can become fully conscious of what we are about to do rather than mindlessly starting and completing another task. We call upon the breath as an ancient soul friend to help us to witness our lives unfolding, rather than being carried along until we aren’t sure where our lives are going. We can return again and again to our bodies and their endless wisdom and listen at every threshold.

We often think of these in between times as wasted moments and inconveniences, rather than opportunities to return again and again to the expansiveness of the present moment and the body’s opening to us right now. Our invitation is to awaken to the gifts right here, not the ones we imagine waiting for us beyond the next door.

~Christine Valters Paintner

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