2021-10-15-Breathing (5 of 5) Release is Peace
2:58PM Oct 15, 2021
So, on this fifth talk about mindfulness of breathing, the topic is release. And there is a saying in English, Buddhist English, maybe because it rhymes. That release is peace. So there's something about the proper or appropriate way of letting go that leads to peace. It leads to unavailability when attention is hijacked by our preoccupations. So, to let go properly, he would letting go of the things that preoccupy our attention or awareness. So awareness becomes more available. As awareness becomes more available, way available to what is happening. And some of those things are uncomfort are suffering or challenges. And there's something very special about being available to see it perceive it, to know it. As opposed to not being available, which kind of implies or leads to maybe feeling like it's a problem, or it's rare to fix it or feeling oppressed by it. Just available, oh, this is difficult. It also helps us to be available for love, to be able to love or care or have goodwill to be friendly. And so this idea of letting go letting go, gives lenses that gives us all these wonderful gifts, and the gifts of being available to the world. It's a wonderful feeling to really be present, walking and be available, rather than asserting ourselves into the world. And, you know, seeing the world through my, our wants, and our fears and our aversions. But being available to what's happening. is also tends to lend itself to much more perceived that's world as a gift. What happens, rather than a right or should do something. So how does this relate to mindfulness of breathing. As we settled down in meditation, and settle into something, it doesn't have to be the breathing, some primary focus that's appropriate for us. And so breathing is for many people works. As we settle down into the breathing, that more and more of our attention is able to stay with the breathing more we let go of our preoccupations, our thoughts, if they're easy enough to let go of just like go and go back to the breathing, let go and let go into the breathing, let go and receive the experience of breathing and root ourselves in the breathing, the more that attention is available for breathing, the more the sense of availability, the feeling of being available comes. And the less we are caught up in the world of thoughts or ideas of experiences, memories, future projections into the future, that tend to be agitating. And, and so we're more available, attention becomes more available for the breathing. But as it becomes more available for the breathing, the reciprocal aspect of that is that we're less caught up. And, and so the more you're able to focus on the breathing, the more there is also kind of a natural, letting go or letting things fall away or no longer being involved in them. So sometimes we let go of thoughts. And sometimes we just hold the course with the breathing, staying with the breath, and less energy than is given to the preoccupations. And as more attention goes to the breathing, the more awareness gets gathered, it gets available, it's present, it's not kind of caught up in things which are not so healthy for us. Now, the opposite, you know, is the benefit of breathing and meditation isn't just that we can do it. But when we're the sense of availability also means we're available to what makes it difficult to be with the breathing. And there are powerful forces in us that keep us distracted, keep us caught up in thoughts keep us swirling in our emotional life.
Those should be respected deeply and they're not should be dismissed or feel like They're, you know, unwanted. But to let go of what's easy enough to let go of, or to stay focused on the breath and the way it's relatively easy to stay focused. And then being available for, for seeing more clearly what's going on in us. And that's one of the values of meditation and breathing is not being successful at the breathing. thing with the breathing. But how the effort to be with the breathing highlights more what's really happening for us. If we're some people are so distracted by their distractions, they don't know they're distracted. But if we have this reference point of, of attempting to be with a breath, don't if even if you're not able to do it much, just the effort to do it is beneficial, if it shows us much more clearly. What it is, is happening for us that keeps us away from breathing preoccupations we have and then this idea of being available for that. Also, this too, should be cared for should be should be, you know, loved in a certain kind of way. And so the next week, so I'll talk about mindfulness of the body, mindfulness of emotions, mindfulness thinking, that is, how we practice with the things that are revealed, as we attempt to do mindfulness of breathing, but these other things then get highlighted. And so sometimes it's completely appropriate to not stay with the breath, it's kind of to fight against everything else, and stay with the breath is counterproductive. And so the art of learning to let go of breathing sometimes to attend to these other things, is part of what you know, I'll be teaching over the next few weeks. But for now, the topic is release with breathing. And if you're able to kind of really settle in, get gather yourself on the breathing, there's a natural process of things being let go of our concerns of the day, the memories, the the resentments, we have for the time being kind of get forgotten. And one of the values of meditation, something as simple as breathing over and over, coming back to the breathing is a way that is a kind of a cleansing, kind of emptying of the preoccupations of the day, the momentum of in the mind that goes on. And so there's kind of a release that goes on. And sometimes it's appropriate to support that release by a little bit of active efforts at letting go. And, and I see that the exhale, maybe other people would be the inhale. But for me, it's the exhale, that is a wonderful place to let go of my thoughts. It's amazing deal to this day, how thoughts kind of sneak in quietly through the back door of the mind. So that sometimes I don't really notice that I started to think again, and, but by by every time I begin exhaling, it's a time to kind of notice, I my thinking, and if it's easy enough to let go, and let go into the breathing, to let go into a receiving of the experience or breath. And if I can let go with the exhale, then I'm more available, more presence to be able to receive the gift of the inhale the arising the appearing of the inhalation as it occurs. And this rhythm of letting go with the exhale and receiving on the inhale, sometimes is a wonderful way of supporting this process of release. But in this way that I'm talking now about letting go on the exhale, it puts a lot of agency in the meditator like this is what the meditator is supposed to do. And that also connect and keep us agitated and keep us kind of preoccupied. And so sometimes we want to kind of try to do this with a very light touch, without expectation without need for anything really to happen without using it to judge ourselves or to be in a hurry, as if we have lots of time in the world. And, and sometimes if there's too much going on and efforting then it's sometimes it's easier just to kind of just simply very simplistically, stay with the breath the best you can hang in there. Gather yourself on the breathing and don't worry so much about letting go. The letting go will happen by itself. The more we get gathered around the experience of breathing.
And then as we keep practicing, that tai mukha model will feel obvious Is that the right thing to do is to let go, that that's such a healthy thing to let go of what is unhealthy when it's not helpful when it diminishes us or brings it more agitation into us. And the quieter the mind becomes more peaceful we are, the more we can see or hear, I'm getting involved in that thought, again, I've done that 1000 times, I don't need to do that. And let go. And then let go back into letting go into back into the breathing coming back to us Breathing in and breathing out. And the deeper we go in meditation, the more that experience can be characterized as a release, either that something so released that's very gradual over time, or something that's very clear, like a big shift that happens. Suddenly, there's a little like quantum shift, boom. And now we're here at fuller away and embodied in fall away or something. But release, release is peace. Release helps us become available for experience in our life and the people in our life. That availability makes us available to know suffering more intimately, clearly. But not as to suffer more. But to care more, to meet it in a new way. Maybe with love. There's something about the availability to the challenging aspects of our life, the suffering, that can give rise to real real love and compassion and care, goodwill. And love supports letting go, letting go, to be available, to be available to feel the fullness of this life, all the aspects more fully. And then perhaps to love some more. And so we go round and round. And I hope that you will trust mindfulness of breathing. Give yourself over to it if you continue meditating through the weekend, really kind of trust it and be intimate with it and see if some of what I'm talking about can you can feel their sense in in the various very simplicity of mindfulness of breathing. And then on Monday, we'll talk about mindfulness of the body and have a week on that. So thank you all very much.