Sunday, May 9, 2010

Are you Breathing?

Quote of the month:
Enlightenment is always there.
Small enlightenment will bring great enlightenment.
If you breathe in and are aware that you are alive—
that you can touch the miracle of being alive—
then that is a kind of enlightenment.
-Thich Nhat Hanh

Photo courtesy of

Are you breathing?

I can hear a chorus of all of you saying, "Yes, of course I am breathing!"

So how do you know you are breathing?

Now you add, "I have to be breathing or I wouldn't be alive."

When I asked that question, you most likely went to your mind for the answer. That is typically what we do.... when faced with a question, let the mind figure it out.

Let's take just a few minutes and "think" about this a little differently. Even better, I'd like to suggest that we not "think" about it at all, but answer the question from direct experience.

Take a minute and breath with me.....
You may want to focus on the serene photograph above, taken by friend of mine, as you breath in and count slowly to yourself 1...... 2...... 3....... feel your lungs fill with air and your belly and chest rise. Hold it just for a moment and then exhale in a comfortable manner. Feel your shoulders fall. Pause just a moment again at the end of the exhale before inhaling again. Repeat a few times. You may count, not count, inhale or exhale through your nose or mouth. It is not important for this exercise, just keep it comfortable, a little slowed from your normal pace and put your attention fully on your body and on the actual breathing.

Notice how pleasing it actually feels to breathe..... can you "touch the miracle" of being alive aThich Nhat Hanh says in the quote says above? Do you have gratitude at being able to breathe? Some people cannot breathe freely due to asthma or other illness. I will add breathing to my gratitude list from last Thanksgiving!

Now.... let me ask the question again... Are you breathing? Now, how do you know?

As always, I would love to hear your feedback or questions. You may submit them by clicking on the "comments" link at the end of the post.

To look at more beautiful photographs at click here.
To add "breathing" (or anything else) to our Community Gratitude List..... click here.
To read last month's post on Me-Me-Me..... click here.

Until next month,
Keep it Simple!


Jackie said...

Thank you... It reminded me when I did your breathing with the post how much peace I find for just that few seconds of watching my breath going in and out... it's like a little vacation from the day...

Penelope said...

Many people are alive but don't touch the miracle of being alive. -Thich Nhat Hanh