There really are no coincidences; I realized when I selected this card, “breathe” after addressing the issue of breathing in my last couple of posts.  The use of breath as a centering device, or mechanism, is central to yoga and is ancient in its roots found in almost all world religions.  In fact, prayer and meditation consist of sounds and songs whose musical rhythms encourage a slowness of breath.  There are popular songs written about breathing, different versions entitled “Just Breathe” by Faith Hill, Michelle Branch, Pearl Jam and others, and poems related to breath are common.  Pondering what focusing on breathing does for ones soul makes me notice other similar phrases such as Be Here Now the popular book circa 1971 by Ram Dass, or Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat Zinn, Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff and Slowing Down to the Speed of Life by Kristine and Richard Carlson and blogs such as Zen Habits by Leo Babauta urging us to slow down, stop and take notice, see the simple things until we are able to slow down enough to be content to spend a few moments each day focusing on perhaps the most simple element in life, that sustains life, breath.

When we first created our backyard, I wanted a visual reminder to encourage us to stop and enjoy the paradise we created.  I found it in a cement wall plaque at my favorite nursery.  It is easy to speed by, keep busy and productive and check off items off the endless “to do” list.  It is much more difficult to stop, be still, breath and wait for the ideas to come, for the inspiration to come and the calm to come.  I am learning.


Begin by relaxing

Really letting the world fade away

Everything can wait

As time stands still for a moment

The steady rhythm of life’s force

Has powers

Existing forever.


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3 responses to “Breathe

  1. Nancy

    Yes, breathe…slow and deep. Have your actions reflect your writings and ponderings! Breathe! I offer myself up for a little sister R & R anytime!!!


  2. A beautiful piece, thank you. I have been practicing Buddhist “Mindfulness of Breathing” meditation for 20 years, since the death of my first son from cancer, and it centers you as nothing else does. I love to meditate sometimes in the bedroom when our whole family is sleeping together – I can hear the rhythm of their peaceful breathing as I focus on my own. One of the key things I reflect on is who we are without our names: if you let your name (“identity’) drop away, you come to terms with life at its most essential. We all need more peace, stillness and time to breathe for pleasure. Thank you, Amy.


  3. Nancy

    When Alexander mentions letting your name -identity – drop away, it reminds me of the many times my children would make a new playmate on a trip to the park (or wherever). I would ask them what the new friends name was and more often than not, they had not even asked that question. They were to busy playing!!! If you spend some time reflecting on that, it certainly presents the idea of our essential selves! Ah, the lessons form our children. The important things!
    One of my favorite books “The Important Book” by Margaret Wise Brown. Check it out!


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