Meditations on Breathing

1. There is only One Breath. This must not be forgotten, rather always remembered.

2. We are all the One Breath, pulsing through time and space forever and ever.

3. Forgetfulness is the exhale; remembrance, the inhale.

4. Some say there is a Supreme Breather. Others say it is all just Breathing. Truly, I do not glean the difference.

I am Breathing; it does not stop. Some say I will have a last breath. But they do not know there is only One Breath. And That Breath goes on and on.

5. A Great Breath can be shallow. A Great Breath can be long. A Great Breath can be weak. A Great Breath can be a sneeze. However, a Great Breath is certainly spontaneous. As a small man I do not know where the Great Breath begins. The smallest of us remember best because they have yet to forget.

The baby’s breath is to be studied carefully. A baby’s breath is the Great Breath embodied. Like the baby, free of egoic restrictions, we breathe as the One Breath.

6. How much air do you truly need? Oxygenate your blood, Ha! Calm your mind, Ha! Shift your heart rate, Ha! Lay down your research. Forget your lessons! You need no reasons! Embrace the tiresome exhaustion of learning more and more information! Be as you were when you were first born. Your eyes will not tire, your ears will hear clearly, and your heart will remain at peace. You will have the voice of thunder but it will only seldom storm.

Shed the forms of your character that make you hard, tense, and nervous. With a Great Breath you shake these forms, loosening their tethers. “There is only One Breath” will ring outward into unfathomed realms as a chorus of song, dancing the spirits in delight.

7. We seek to end our confusion by learning lessons from masters. Certainly, any teaching can liberate if practiced with all one’s heart. But whom can my broken heart trust?

A rare person taught me this. I trust my breath. It knows me well. It does not leave my side. It mirrors who I am. The breath aids me as I unlearn that which does not last. Watching quietly, I let go of what will let me down. Alone, the One Breath remains.

8. Teachings only go so far, they do not carry me over the bottom of the breath. At the bottom of the exhale lies a great silence, here you meet emptiness. Similarly, at the top of the inhale soars a great silence, here you apprehend fullness. In emptiness, do not be afraid: dissolve. In fullness: rejoice in your homecoming. Pay attention and experience all your breath offers you. Fullness, exhale, emptiness, inhale, fullness… forever and ever. Nothing is ever lost and nothing is gained because there is only One Breath.

9. Shout it, whisper it, and speak it into your mind, “There is only One Breath.” How long has been the exhale? Lost in forgetfulness we yearn and ache. Ride the inhale of remembrance and return home. Nearing the bottom of the exhale, I am just a small man filled with mistakes and failures, pretending to get by in a chaotic world. I do not run from this small man. I am not ashamed of him. I do not try to fix him or make him better. He fades away in dissipating vapor.

10. Be done with your rules and regulations and disciplines. Let the thief run free. A thief is just an out-breath. In the world of many faces we are thieves, not knowing what we have stolen from Ourself. We cannot run or hide for very long. When a thief becomes out-of-breath, an in-breath will begin. You need not police this process nor speed things along. There is only One Breath and you are not the Breather. You are an in-breath returning what cannot be lost.

11. The One Breath is constant, always changing but never ending. There is only One Breath and it needs no help breathing. It is like a train passing by a great wilderness. The ego—concerned and afraid of some destination—distracts itself with the dramas inside the train car. You are not the conductor; you are just a passenger. You are not in charge; you cannot change the train’s direction. So look out the window, feel the rhythm of the tracks and delight in the beauty passing you by. Learning to see with more than the eye: exhale, emptiness, inhale, fullness like the rocking of the train.

12. Emptiness and fullness are both stillness. In truth, they are the same. The inhale and exhale are both movement, the same movement. Stillness and movement are the same. There is only One Breath.

View as pdf: Meditations on Breathing Mar 2019