Thursday, May 8, 2014

Prana + Ayama

(my father's last palette)

We embody that which reaches beyond the dualities into the sublime and that which grounds us and manifests in physical properties. To combine this is both an unconscious process and a process of becoming conscious.

The breath is there from the beginning. An infant doesn't have to think about how long a breath to take or whether to breathe into front and back, sides etc. you and I can simply draw inhale and release exhales until our bodies are done and we stop breathing. What is the point of noticing that we are breathing, of observing the nature, texture, impact and space of the breath? 

As soon as you pull your attention from the sky, your lunch, that construction noise, and focus on the subtleties of the breathing process, your mind begins cultivating a different level of attention. This, in and of itself is new territory on the existing map that is your experience of being. 

The quiet observing mind is unusual in daily life and affords the body a respite from the constant reactivity that characterizes our every other moment. The discovery of natural breath and the ability to cultivate the breath settles the mind into its concentrated form. Several seconds of this is enough to give a glimpse of how vibrant and alive we are when we are not cluttered and bombarded by conditional reactivity - our "normal" functional state of mind.

Is it worth slowing down and turning attention to this when it barely lasts seconds? I believe it is, because the mind becomes more and more adept at remaining in this state, with breath as reminder, we can even find ourselves lapsing into this state under totally normal daily circumstances.
Our ease in watching our breath, using disciplined attention, can unlock the door and bring us out into an authentic freedom of mind.