Self-Study (Part 2)

“Know yourself as a breathing being.” -Pandit Rajmani Tigunait

What comes to your mind as you hear these words from Pandit Rajmani? I am taken back to my years in seminary, sitting in my Old Testament class. The story that comes to mind is from Genesis 2, where God fashioned a human being out of the dust of the earth and then breathed into this being the breath of life.

In this story, there is an image of tenderness as the human being is carefully crafted. There is also a grace-filled intimacy as breath is breathed into this being. And it doesn’t end there, for as we know one breath doesn’t keep us alive for very long. We require a continuous sustenance of this intimate gift we call breath.

There are many things to say that come out of reflection on this quote. We could discuss how the subtlety of breath allows us to access the more subtle realms of ourselves. We could talk about how when the mind joins the breath, the mind becomes more tranquil and spacious. We could talk about how softening into the breath sets the stage for surrender, our focus next month.

For now, I am personally captured by the grace and the intimacy of this moment to moment gift of life. And I can’t help but think things would be very different in our world today if we spent time reflecting on this quote and really took in the grace of it.

Week Three. Spend 5-10 minutes every morning and evening simply being with your breath. You might watch the expansion and contraction of the belly as the breath enters and leaves the body. You might watch where the breath first touches your nostrils as it enters the body. Or you might watch the breath as it travels in the space in front of your nostrils to your forehead area. Wherever your focus is, let go of doing the breathing and become someone who is being breathed. Experience the intimacy with the one who breathes you.

Week Four. Repeat Week Three.

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