It seems like years fly by in just days. A week can feel like a heartbeat. I catch these poignant moments meditating through the pre-dawn hour or immersed in Nature’s lap watching the fleeting nature of the day turning to dusk and again night.
One of my favorite texts, The Song of the Soul (Japji), references two nurses or Guardian Angels who represent the forces of creation providing us everything we need in both day and night. In this same verse Japji also speaks to the ‘Air as the Guru,’ as without air we cannot sustain life, and with breath we can transport ourselves beyond the veils of ordinary awareness and experience a deeper Truth.
Breath is the bridge from a feeling of separation, anxiety, or depression, into a state of connection, contentment, and presence, where we can tap into the forces of creation and feel how they truly are there to serve us.
We can all fall into states of despondency, and confusion. We can all react negatively to people and situations. Even the wisest are susceptible to this. What matters is how swiftly we can recognize our state and change it. This is the power we often forget that we have. If we think life is happening to us, in other words, that creation is not supporting us, we forget that we have the power to change our relationship to that which is challenging us, even if we cannot change the situation itself. Guaranteed, if one half of a relationship changes, it will affect the other. Positive change on one side creates an opening for change on the other (whether with a person, or with life itself).
This is such a valuable teaching as we live in a world defined by polarities and as we so abundantly see, when we empower one polarity over another, we create suffering. This is why at the heart of yoga we have the intention to overcome the oppositional energy of polarity, and to exist in the heart of life, in the experience of oneness, where polarities are merely different values on the one. Here we can appreciate the difference rather than judge it.
Conscious breath, equal inhale, and exhale, invites us into a state of wholeness. Our nervous system can stabilize and heal, our glandular system moves toward balance, our electromagnetic field harmonizes. All this, just by a simple long deep breath! No wonder Japji states, ‘Breath is the Guru.’
Conscious breath allows us to detangle our mind from judgement and opinion and bring it into presence. This is so important as in our disconnected, polarized state the mind seeks to solve the riddle of life in the external world. When we turn the mind inward with focus on long deep breath, it experiences what is was seeking all along: wholeness and contentment, which allows it to settle. When the surface mind rests, the deeper intelligence of our being comes online and what we could not see before comes into our sight. We see the solution to a problem that was bugging us. We experience an emotional release that moves our energy into a lighter state. We see possibility where before there appeared to be none.
Bookend your days with conscious breath, see how that slowly starts to reveal a deeper truth in all areas of your life. Recognize the gift of every conscious breath to bring you to presence and connection. Together let’s do the work of detangling from the stories of doom and gloom and awaken within the great field of all possibility. Creation is here to serve us.
“Air is the Guru, water is the Father, and earth is the Great Mother of all. Day and night are the two nurses, in whose lap all the world is at play.” –Japji