First breath, last breath, and millions in between . . .
Breath. Such a basic physical phenomenon. And one of the most useful objects of attention during mindfulness practice.
More and more, I have come to rely on the breath to 'save' me. And here is why:
It is not 'I' who breathes, but rather the body that is being breathed. Focusing on the movement of breathing, relaxing into the automatic ins and outs of breath, the 'I' can relax. Reaping the joy from anatta . . .
While busy following the breath, the mind gets occupied with the wholesome activity of noticing the sensations of breath in, breath out. Meanwhile the unwholesome thoughts are kept at bay. Purifying the mind with attention to the breath . . .
With the beginning of each new breath, a new birth. With the ending of each breath, another death. Nothing to hold on to. Watching impermanence in action, over and over, and over . . .
Breathing in, belly and chest naturally expands, and bodily tensions get a chance to relax. Breathing out, impurities in the mind get flushed out. Calming the bodily and mental formations with the mechanics of breath . . .
Resting in the space between each inhalation and exhalation, the pleasure awaits of yet another visit from breath, another moment of life, given. Taking in the good . . . and cultivating gratitude.
Sitting still, in silence. Nothing else belongs to this moment, except the ongoing movement of breath. As the mind starts to wander away, the irrelevance of most thoughts becomes clear. Breath as reference point . . .
Finding out for one self what is meant in the Anapanasati Sutta.