*Originally published on The Five Lights Blog on September 3, 2020
Power of Pause /
Breath, Spirit and Air/ Ki
The original Japanese character for breath "息" is composed of the words,
"自: self/my" and "心: heart." Pronounced together, these words mean, "my heart, or my spirit." Heart and mind have the same ideogram in Asia. Also, the words "breath" and "spirit" have the same ideogram in many ancient world languages.
The Air Space/Ether/Prana/Ki/Chi our breath can become is a conduit to the spiritual world. Invisible space embraces our lives of body, mind, and spirit. Our breath mediates between the physical and spiritual worlds. When we express our love, our breath echoes through the air/ether. Spiritual practice can be cultivated with the assistance of love and conscious breath.
When we breathe our firstborn breath, we inhale our spirit. At that moment, the spirit nestles into the body. When we die, we exhale. At that moment, our spirit is set free for departure or letting go.
Life is reset and renewed by the breath. The moments between our first inhale and the last exhale offer the infinite possibilities we call life. Each in-breath can inspire new life. Each out-breath can expire the past.
As we inhale, we prepare for the out-breath. Likewise, when we exhale, we prepare for the in-breath. Life is sustained with each breath we take. Birth is possible because of death; small deaths are released with every out-breath. Without breath, we would be like fish without water.
Watch how the breaths involuntarily pause and retain between inhale and exhale. In-breath and out-breath. Constant change is within the polarity dynamic of the yin and yang relationship. Mother nature knows how to pause her breath for stillness before a great storm. Ocean waves pause between up and down. There is a state of silence in the symphony. We take a little breather in the middle of chaos. There is a momentum with each pause that promotes the force of life. We can experience this life force when we pause to hold our breath.
All births come from the non-physical realm, a still, empty space that holds the universal life force of Ki/Chi/Prana. The pause between in and out-breaths may be the key to elevating our experience of life and death. We are a part of the universe, and that universe is in us. We can slow down to enjoy practicing mindful breath while washing dishes, walking around the neighborhood, doing laundry, taking a bath.
Mindful breath happens anytime, anywhere.
We are breathing with the universe right now.
Each breath can connect us with the world beyond time and space. We inhale when the universe exhales, and we exhale when the universe inhales. We are inhaling a thousand million molecules that were exhaled by our ancestors. It is possible that we breathe in molecules that passed through enlightened spiritual teachers like Buddha and Jesus.
Imagine the infinite exchanges of breath between ourselves and others as a network of endless giving and receiving. If we breathe consciously, we can create a web of love and trust that unifies all human beings. Healing practices begin with mindful breathing. Synchronized breathing can take us back to the original baby breathing with the Hara/Man's vital center. Mindful breath can touch our partner's hearts. And vice versa.
Silence/Stillness is a non-physical living space that holds the natural state of spirit (non-being or death). We will never connect with death's truth unless we learn to be quiet, dead silent. Silence happens between mindful in-breaths and mindful out-breaths. "Death" is the key to awakening life.
When we inhale, our blood shifts pH toward acidic, our blood pressure rises, and our glands and central nervous system are stimulated.
When we take time to exhale, our blood shifts pH toward alkaline, blood pressure lowers, releases more dopamine, and our nervous systems calm down to increase the body's metabolism.
When we experience stress, we tend to freeze our breath with negative feelings on a voluntary inhale.
To practice a happy life, we must focus on how to pause and exhale mindfully.
It is possible to increase spirituality, respiratory capacity and inspired living through conscious belly breathing.
Then, like babies, we can laugh for no reason.
Happy belly with love & peace,
Location: Tucson, AZ & Santa Fe, NM