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Posts Tagged ‘Breath’

Sun-Day; a Poem for In-spiration

June 25, 2017 Leave a comment

It is a beautiful day here in Maryland in this high-summer time. I wrote on our deck in the sun, celebrating life, the breeze, the ease of a lazy day. The title of today’s poem comes from a book by Ilchi Lee, “Human Technology, a Toolkit for Authentic Living.” A short section, titled Transience, is all about impermanence. I think you get the drift!

Transience

We exhale, letting go, merging with the afternoon breeze,
Sensing a oneness with all moving air.
We inhale, accepting, in-spiring the breath of Jesus, Mohammed,
Being a part of the wonder of it all.

Each breath we release and accept holds its own little life;
Moment to moment we live in the awesome splendor of all time.
Each breath is all there is, all we have, the beat of a butterfly’s wing;
And we fly, gliding on the breath of the gods.

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©2017 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

A poem for a rainy day: Inner Practice

January 17, 2017 1 comment

It is a dreary day here in Maryland. It is dark and gloomy with rain coming down steadily. It is a good day to practice!

Inner Practice

The breath begins with emptiness.
The inner curve of the belly
Is a waiting, a pause,
An anticipation of the new.

The breath proceeds with a rise.
The curve of the belly fills with
An action, expansion;
Excitement lifts on an inner note.

The breath rises on its inner path.
The spine straightens and lengthens,
Action peaking, seeking the crown,
Expanding outward and upward, reaching.

The breath follows the inner curve.
The skull bone directs its passage,
Downward through the hollows of the face,
Ending in the empty space guarded by teeth.

The breath remains in this inner space.
This is a waiting, a pause.
Inaction holding, resting in peace,
A suspension of the doing – just being.

The breath descends from its quiet rest.
The inner curve of the chest opens
With soft action, a contraction,
A sinking downward and inward.

The breath expels what no longer serves.
The inner curve of the belly forms,
Compressing, flattening, sending out
The last of the used, the spent, the old.

The breath ends in emptiness,
The inner curve of the belly restored.
Resting, contemplating, anticipating
The inner practice of breathing.

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©2017 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

Know Thyself – Tools for Self-Knowledge – Richard’s Commentary

August 21, 2014 Leave a comment

As I was writing my “morning pages” today I realized after a couple of paragraphs that I was writing today’s post and commentary on Rosemary’s Exploration article. I began my pages, as I often do, writing about the passage of time; here’s my entry:

We are running out of Leo fast; and then August. Everyone seems to be noting how fast time is now passing.

Of course it is all perception – as everything is. One effect on our perception is the amount of information we are bombarded with moment to moment. 24-hour news, FaceBook, email, the never ending stream of websites and blogs is literally overwhelming. When we are overwhelmed we can go into a spin, a dive that seems endless, frightening and high-speed. Time melts away in the dive – it almost feels like a death-defying dive!

And it is all perception! The only reality is of our own making, our own perceiving. To change our reality all we need to do is change our perspective. And this is a matter of intention and attention.

It begins with intention: what is going on inside. If we feel we are in free-fall, take a breath, maybe two, deep cleansing breaths, and then put the brakes on. Stop the fall. Sink into the dantien (the lower abdomen area) and breathe there. It is possible to float here. And as we float we can get a sense of flow, of going with the flow. The current doesn’t have to be a raging rapids; it can be a slow, lazy summer river taking its time in search of the sea. It can take on any speed we give it because this is our reality. We can imagine it to be any rate of flow we desire!

It’s good to take time out of a busy life to slow the pace. There really is no place to go. There’s nothing to do. Oh, OK, there are chores of life, tasks we set for ourselves, responsibilities we sign up for and lessons to learn. But we can be and breathe through all of these.

The “being part” is the witness who rides above all of the rapid pace, the wild passage of time, the endless stream of information. Rise up to that level and watch it all. How serious does it all appear to be – how real? How important?

From that vantage the passage of time seems almost irrelevant. Yes, we have our lessons to work out, our karmic Lesson Plan. Here’s where attention comes in. There are external influences that come to play in our lives. We have other people’s perceptions to take into account and to process. When we pay attention we can see and learn the lessons these interactions hold for us. This is a matter of shifting our perspective from “encounter” to “classroom.” We shift from “other” to “mirror” – how is this person mirroring me, my interactions and my behavior?

Inner perspective, intention, and outer perspective, attention, are always relative, which means they are adaptable, transmutable. The simple technique of using breath to do the adapting is all that’s needed. One breath can stop the fall, gain a fresh perspective and shift reality.

I have moved now well into my birthday month, working on my 70th year! To many, and sometimes me, this sounds old! And from this perspective that time is speeding up, I may not have much time left! So, I take a breath and try this on: “70 is the new 50”! Ah, that’s better and about how I feel! And soon enough 100 will be the new 70!

Rosemary asks: Have you explored tools to help you understand where you are coming from? What about where others are coming from? Do you value the differences in how people approach learning, or life, or do you expect everyone to see things as you see them? To listen and to hear exactly what you hear? To feel the way you feel?

My answer, as it is for many things these days, is “I practice Qigong.” Breathe deeply and gain a new perspective on your “reality.”

 

MONDAY’S POEM: Connection

August 4, 2014 Leave a comment

The theme I started today’s poem with is “Connection.” I am feeling connected. The last several days have been all about connection: from our trip south, connecting along with way with family and friends, to the event we attended with Red Elephant and connecting with the “herd” at the Stand, Speak and Profit program, to the Ashram, Amrit Yoga Institute and yoga practice, and now prepared to return “home” – to reconnect. The Big Connect for these days is to the future – our newest grandson, Tristan, who brings a new light into the world! Can I summarize all of these delicious feelings in a poem?

Connection

I like the feeling of the word.
I like the sense of it –
The two “ns” in the middle
Are connectors –
Like twins holding hands
Across the word.

I like the feel of the “co”
Within the breath –
A catch in the throat and
A soft exhalation.

Across the “ns” we connect
With the click
In the throat and
With the tongue.

Another quieting sound
Of the breath moving to the close
Of the word
With the trailing n.

Connection.

We are all looking for connection.
And as with all things conscious
The connection begins within.
There is no outer; we create with
The connection within.

It is all inside.
And from there the connection
With breath begins
The connection with the All.

It is deep, inside.
It grows there expanding
Ever deeper and higher and wider
Taking in the totality of it all.

Connection can only expand
From the inside.
Just as all love flows
From self-love,
So too does all connection flow
From inner connection.

Breath
Body
Vibration
Prana
Yoga
Union
Connection.

It is all right here.

©2014 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

MONDAY’S POEM: It is What it is

June 23, 2014 Leave a comment

I am an Enneagram Type 1. This type is sometimes labeled “The Perfectionist.” Anger is often the first emotional response of a Type 1 person. In the Chinese and Taoist approach to “labeling” people they offer a “five-element” system. I am predominantly a “wood-type” person. Anger is often the first emotional response of a Wood-type person. Yes, I have been known to feel and display anger. But what’s the knowing that can be revealed by these systems that point at me with the same label?

My spiritual path coming out of this introspective approach and the tools I use for self-knowing is acceptance. As a perfectionist I need to accept the way things are. As I wood-type I need to learn to be flexible (like a tree bending with the wind). Acceptance, forgiveness, patience and letting go are the key words that I pull into me and work with toward resonance.

It is within this spirit of resonance that I wrote today’s poem:

It is What it is

Acceptance, letting go, realizing
It is what it is.
This is no easy row to hoe,
And yet it is the only path home.

Breath, inhaling deeply, noticing
What is, this natural state.
Open posture, belly breath
And relaxing on this path home.

Choice, accepting, admitting
There are options, nothing’s fixed.
Relaxed, deeply at peace
And knowing this is the path home.

©2014 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

Conscious Relationships Start with Self-Love – Richard’s Commentary

April 24, 2014 Leave a comment

Humans are social beings. It is all about relationships. Last week I wrote about our interdependence with others, what Thich Nhat Hahn calls “interbeing.” We are especially dependent on and interdependent with other humans. Here’s what Rosemary says about that:

Human beings are relationship experts. We are constantly adjusting relationships, in one direction or another. Relationships with significant others, with parents and with children, with co-workers, clients, neighbors, hairdressers, waitstaff at the local restaurant, checker at the grocery store. Every interaction with another human being is an element of a relationship.

And every relationship begins on the inside of ourselves. This is why it is so important to have that relationship in the first place! Do you have a good relationship with yourself?

In her post Rosemary writes about choices we have and we make moment to moment. The first choice is to have that inner relationship. How do you do that? It’s as easy as breathing! And we all need to do that!

The “conscious relationship with self” begins with conscious breathing. That’s right, bring your consciousness to your breathing pattern. Don’t try to change it or make an effort, just bring your attention to how your breath feels; think about the inhale; feel it as it comes in through your nose, down your throat, into your lungs. Where does it go there? Does it fill up your chest? Does it go down into your belly? Just notice. And on the exhale, how does that feel? What happens first? How much air do you exhale?

Shifting just our focus on our breath, with no change at all in rhythm or style, changes our body chemistry and our mental awareness! Imagine what might happen if you actually, consciously begin to control your breathing. Maybe your in-breath goes a bit deeper and is longer; maybe you hold it for just a moment as you sense it, notice the feeling of expansion. Then as you exhale maybe you do this more slowly, deliberately. And maybe you expel more air, even flattening your belly, back towards your spine as you push out more air – to make room for a bigger in-breath.

And you can continue in this manner, watching your breath, taking longer, deeper, slower breaths. This is the beginning of a relationship with yourself, your deeper self.

I’m not writing here to teach meditation. But I am echoing Rosemary’s intention that your best relationship is with yourself, inside. Here’s what she says about you:

Who you are, deep in your core, is a beautiful being of Light. Who you are, inside, is a spark of divine energy. Who you are, in the essence of you, is a person of access to great wisdom and love. THIS is the person that you really want to show up in every relationship, isn’t it?

I would like to have a relationship with this being of Light – you! Wouldn’t you?

MONDAY’S POEM: Aligning Breath of Peace

March 10, 2014 Leave a comment

On Saturday I was feeling out of sorts, disconnected, and uneasy. I did notice that the Moon was squaring the Sun, First Quarter. This may have had some influence. And I decided, whatever the source of my unease, to take some action. In writing my “morning pages” for the day I went into a meditation which did help me realign my energies. I wrote today’s poem in that energy to capture my methods of aligning with the environment rather than struggle with it.

I am now practicing with this breath when I feel I need to connect. I breathe this long slow poem and then follow it with three deep breaths, repeating this connecting breath three times.

Aligning Breath of Peace

Inhaling
From the far reaches of the Universe,
Source,
Through the grand curve of the All
To the Galaxy, Solar Ellipse,
Earth, Community,
Village, Home
Into skin, viscera,
Senses, feelings,
Mental mechanics
To High Consciousness.

Exhaling
From that high place
Through the inner curve of Mind
Deep feelings, settling flow
Of gut mechanics to surface;
Out to room,
Neighborhood, town,
Planet, Moon,
Sun, Milky Way
Through the grand curve of the All,
To Source.

©2014 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.