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