Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Not Breathing, Being Breathed

Sitting, I used to tell myself, 'breathing in, breathing out' . . . This is how I had been taught. Still plenty of meditation teachers use that language, or variations of it. 

Since my retreat with Ruth Denison, I have switched to a different tune. Sitting, I now become  aware of 'being breathed, being breathed in, being breathed out'.

The former implied an act of will, as if 'I' was the one doing the breathing. The latter does away with that delusion. The truth is, breathing is an automatic process that does not require our involvement. The proof is during sleep, when we are no longer conscious, and breathing takes place just fine. 

'Being breathed', I can relax completely. Nothing to do, not even breathing.


  1. Lovely thought and practice...I will give it a try. Thank you.

  2. This is beautiful. Another wording I like as the attitude, tho I do not use as a label, is "receiving the breath."

  3. Thank you Kathy, for appreciating with me, the gift of breath received . . .

    With much metta :)