This month, I am participating in a rather LARGE blogging challenge which involves writing a series of 26 posts – one for each letter of the alphabet – based around a theme. My theme is about nature and all its amazing features. The Tao Te Ching speaks often of nature and then patterns of nature are where the I Ching gets its roots: no pun intended.
So, today is all about Breath. If you stop for a moment, you can feel yourself breathing. If you are anxious, you can stop what you are doing and slow down your breath. Your body will respond by calming down: your muscles will relax and your tension will fade.
In every religion around the globe, there are practices that work with the breath. In the yogic practices, they call it prana – which also means “life force”. In the Bible, the words spirit and breath are interchanged throughout the text. God blew breath into man and he became a living being. The Zen practice of zazen is centered around breathing. The Taoists have their own ways of working with breath for deep spiritual practice.
This vital activity is the link between life and death. Breathing is the very first thing you do when you are born and it is the very last thing that you do when you die. From birth to death, you breath every moment of every day. Breathing is the undercurrent of Tao playing through your life from beginning to end. Focus on the breath and you are able to slow down time. Try it!
Plants breath in their own ways. The process of respiration is something that both animals and plants do. We don’t call it breathing for plants, but it is essentially the same/opposite process as breathing and just as vital. All living things respire. Without the plants, animals die. Without the animals, plants die. In the larger picture, our breath is not only vital for our own life but collectively, our breath is vital for everyone. We all need each other.
This post is part of a series called the A to Z Blogging Challenge, taking place during the month of April 2016. Each day is a new letter throughout the month. My theme this month is NATURE. To view other bloggers writing about this alphabet, check out the list here.
The list so far…