The Breath of Life

Buddhist philosophy has it that the breath helps to center us in the Now. As humans, according to Buddhist thought, we tend to avoid living today, primarily because pain and suffering occur today. We want to avoid pain, so our minds focus on the future. We all dream of a better future, but we can’t get there if we’re not present today.

Breathing is an automatic function. We don’t need to concentrate on every in-breath and exhalation. It’s because we don’t focus on our breathing that we’re absent from the present moment. The purpose of meditation is not to try proper breathing, though this is important. Meditation is about knowing ourselves; the way we think through breathing.

Focusing on the breath forces us to stay present and attuned to our surroundings. Our minds are wild and undisciplined. A thousand thoughts cross it every day, most of which is wishful thinking. We can’t expect to succeed in life if we spend every minute in a perpetual dream state created in the mind.

Breathing properly helps focus our attention on our thoughts as they arise. By being present, we can learn thinking skills, skills that are lacking in the average citizen. Most people don’t breathe properly through the diaphragm. Their breaths are shallow. Subsequently, the brain does not get an appropriate supply of oxygen it needs to function. A brain devoid of oxygen dies.

For proof, we can look at the death of George Floyd who died due to a lack of oxygen to his brain. He couldn’t breathe because of pressure on his neck by a police officer who should have known better.

In congested and polluted cities, it’s difficult to breathe pure oxygen. But we can’t ignore the fact that performance suffers under improper breathing habits we’ve developed. It might help to get to a place where we can practice the art of breathing for optimal health.

Creativity Under a Virus

Being a shut-in due to the current virus scare has a lot of people wondering if they can get back to a normal lifestyle once the Covid-19 ends. While we may regret the disruption of life, this period of time to ourselves may help us get acquainted with ourselves. We all have skills that have been left unused for too long, so this period of time may be just what we need to fuel up our creativity. Who knows, but we may discover talents that may carry us through to better days ahead. Spend time in meditation to discover that you have far more skills than you thought and put those skills into action before life returns to the usual routine.

Rather than fear the current climate, look for the opportunity this time presents. You may not be able to talk face-to-face with your friends, but you can find ways to work from home. If you can’t return to work, contact your employer and discuss ways you can be of service. This time is ideal for giving support to those less fortunate than you. Hundreds of people need encouragement to take them through this difficult time. Don’t assume everyone is as patient as you. Call someone and ask how they’re doing. Expand your horizons. Calling someone helps you as well as the recipient of your call.

Few realize that the time they have available can be used to eat better and get more exercise. There’s no need to stay cloistered at home when a walk outdoors can refresh the thoughts and clear the mental cobwebs. Everyone has grown accustomed to eating on the run, but today everyone can take the time to savor food and enjoy simple pleasures. Reconnect with the family. Get to know the kids you likely ignored before the virus hit.

What it boils down to, this period offers many advantages. It can bring a better life for you and all those around you.

It's always bright in the darkest days
Find the best in every situation