2021-10-14-Breathing (4 of 5) Restoring Wholeness
2:56PM Oct 14, 2021
Continuing on the theme of breathing mindfulness of breathing for this week, it's a remarkable experience to be at the birth of some mammal, animal or human being, and to witness the first breath. And the first time I saw that was the birth of a calf. And, and I don't know what was going on with a calf, but it certainly didn't look alive when it came when it was born, came out. But at some point, they took a breath, and the eyes opened, there was life. Sometimes life is marked by the first breath, then marked by the other end, marked by the last breath of the last exhale. And in between, we have a lifetime of breathing. But each breath is a kind of in breath is kind of the beginning, each breath is kind of a brick, something comes to an end. And in that rhythm, there's a kind of renewal, there's a kind of rebirth that goes on. And one of the aspects of mindfulness of breathing is how this is kind of rebirth, or this restoring that goes on. And that theme for today is risk restoring. And, as people settle into meditation, and settle into just being with the breath, and are no longer scattered, distracted, preoccupied, no longer caught up in their, whatever drama is going on their life, not to disrespect the drug drama, but no longer scattered by it or disconnected from it. But the whole psychophysical system begins to get organized, healed, the jigsaw puzzles come back together and get settled. There's a restoration of health, spiritual health are kind of psychological health, that is to call it psychological maybe implies a little bit too much, just the mind. But it's very embodied a sense of embodied health. And that can happen even when the parts of the body are sick. And two different kinds of health than though we usually think of is physical health. So this physical health, and this psychological health or spiritual health, and it can feel like this is this is what's healthy, this is what's normal This is and when we settle into meditation, some people and I've had this experience where this feels like the most healthy, appropriate, nice way of being. And whereas the, the, the ordinary daily life can feel, that's what feels extraordinary. That's what feels like an altered state, compared to what's the healthy state or It feels really normal state, the healthy normal state or this is really what life can be about. And it's kind of like if you've been exhausted from working a lot and you take a nap or sleep, and you wake up and you feel odd, I'm restored. And so in the same way, as we allow ourselves to settle into meditation, and the ordinary concerns of life, fall away and we're just here focus simply on the breath, but not focused on a way that's tight or constricted or, or greedy for something. But it's more this sense of allowing, respecting, making room for our experience, almost like getting out of the way, but not getting out of the way so that we are, are no longer connected and attentive, really attentive to the breathing to our experience, allowing it to wash over us slow the breathing to kind of occur. So the breathing can restore itself the breathing can find its way into some kind of healthy and healing. So that and with a breathing because breathing is so interconnected to our emotions our body or thoughts or psychology or intentions. The whole phenomenon of it feels like like
Nick moves through health and moves to wholeness to harmony. Two, and, and one of the wonderful feelings is to feel the sense now this is normal. This is what the ordinary is like in history. less stressful bind the with people ordinary living under, that's not the ordinary. That's the extraordinary that's losing touch with the normal, the healthy. And so this so there's a restoration that goes on. And that is not a restoration that is only about letting go of things. But it's also about allowing something to grow allows them to cultivate something to spread and develop and kind of be here for us. And so the, I call it the restoration and, and it's a restoration where independent of Buddhist ideas of deep, letting go independent of ideas of not-self, or independent ideas of emptiness, or kind of disappearing somehow in, in awareness that all kinds of things that that can happen. If those things are over emphasized, then sometimes it feels like we're suddenly or maybe not so subtly diminishing, the definitive this the clarity, the value of being a human being. And the restoration process of meditation is his death is an important part of this process, that we're allowing yourself to become a whole, harmonious, allowing things to settle, to drop away. So that there can be this emerging of a kind of inner confidence and inner strength, and inner definitiveness. That feels like everything's in harmony and peaceful in such a way, that if there is conceit, if there is a diminishing ourselves or a kind of denying part of ourselves, you can feel how that the effect of that is, is is stressful is off is not quite right, because it's a loss of the harmony, it's fragmenting again. And so we can't get too caught up in can't have concede, but we also can't have devaluing there's a kind of embodied restoration of wholeness, that can happen. And maybe this language I'm using is too strong to a implies, maybe it has to have kind of, you know, you know, some strong way of being, it's kind of gentle, also, it's kind of sneaks up on us, it's not something you can force or insist on or spend a lot of time looking for. But as we just stay with a breath, and let go, or thoughts that go the ways we diminish ourselves, or fragment ourselves, and, and just settle in and allow, allow, allow the breath to breathe itself, allow the breath to breathe through the body, allow the body to breathe, allow the whole experience everything to come into awareness, you might find that there's a shift, then a settling in, and a movement towards healing and wholeness and fullness that happens. And to start getting a sense of that can give a lot of confidence, that we a lot of confidence in the value of not prioritizing our neurosis, not prioritizing our suffering, not prioritizing our challenges and our difficulties. And saying it that way, not prioritizing it, that it's not meant to deny that these things exist or to push them away or say that they're not worthy of attention. They are worthy of the whole they are worthy of being recognized. But there's a strong tendency to over prioritize those to limit ourselves and to nearer life, to our neurosis to our fears to our our, you know, to our suffering or challenges. And this process of just settling into breathing being with a breath kind of begins to shift those priorities. So that something can restore something can reemerge something can can become whole. So,
hope that made sense. So, Monday was relax Tuesday was recognition, yesterday was respect today is restore and tomorrow will be release that is often more closely related to you know, identified as part of Buddhist practice. And, but all with all the first four processes set the stage For a kind of a healthy release, and that's a topic for tomorrow. So thank you all very much and I look forward to meeting tomorrow.