Thursday, September 15, 2005

A Billion Breaths

A Billion Violets, Subic Bay

From time to time, I come across a gem of an article that wakes me up somehow. The present, I believe, is where it's at. To live before or after that is a complete waste. If the simple act of awareness to breath can bring about a meditative "soothing effect" - heaven knows we can all have some of that in this busy, crazy world we live in - then I'm all for it. In Blessed Breath, Kat

A few years ago David Anderson, then 43, took scuba lessons while on vacation in Cozumel, Mexico. Loaded with weights, gear and the heavy air tank, he lumbered into the water and dropped like a stone towards the ocean floor. In seconds his world was restricted to two elements:

the fish coasting by and the hypnotic sound of his own breathing.

"I have taken breaths by the billions without so much as a thought," Anderson says. "Yet in that one undersea hour, I treasured every lungful."

Even today the soothing sound of listening to that breath haunts him. "Breathing is the foundation for meditation in the Western tradition," he notes adding, "I do my meditation in the morning when I get up." ...

In his book
Breakfast Epiphanies,he describes his scuba moment and asks, "Why can I not live and breathe like that on land? Respiration is the key to concentration." Any repetitive activity that gets us breathing regularly - swimming, walking, running - can have the same soothing effect. "It's the hypnotic part you're doing over and over again, " Anderson continues. "That's what gets you to the present."

Reader's Digest, May 2005

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