a little wordy

because words can inspire

Breathe

Michele Viner
v. take air into the lungs and expel it, especially as a regular physiological process

Do you meditate?

I don’t.  But I would like to.  There is a ton of literature out there that says if we meditate, we are happier, calmer, more productive and thinner.  Well, maybe not thinner but one can hope.

That is why, when a few weeks ago my friend Charlene asked me if I would join her for an evening with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, I jumped at the chance to sit still.

This guy is apparently the big meditation guy.  The guru.  As I settled into my seat in the large venue, I watched several hundred people fill their seats around me.  Of course my first thought is how can someone like me - a newbie who can’t do this on her own -actually be still and thoughtful amidst 500 of my new closest friends?  It didn’t seem possible.

And it wasn’t.

The evening transpired something like this.

It began with a pre, of sorts.  In this case, a lovely, serene man walked barefoot onto the stage as a hush came over the crowd.  For the next 30 minutes he led us in a “warm up” meditation that was all about our breathing.  In through one nostril, out through the other.  In through one, out through the other.  In, out.

I will admit that at first I was completely into it.  My brain seemed to sigh with relief when I consciously and deliberately fed it air.  The sound of the man’s voice was melodic as he spoke about filling our lungs, our hearts, our souls.  The collective sound of all of us breathing was like an ocean, with the tide coming in and the tide going out.  It was actually incredible and I was all in, until I wasn’t.  Then, all hell broke loose.

“Breathe in, and breathe out.”

Okay, I’ve got this...I can do this...this is awesome...I am a meditator...I knew I could do this...oh wait I am thinking too much...okay in and out...

“Breathe in, and breathe out.”

...okay I’m back...whew that was close...in and out...wait, what if I am breathing too heavily on the person in front of me..what if I have bad breath?...what if someone is watching me...I think Julia Roberts went through that too...what movie was that?...oh who am I kidding...Julia would never have bad breath...she’s perfect...

“Breathe in, and breathe out.”

...maybe I shouldn’t have worn this shirt...maybe that’s the problem...maybe it’s too loud...everyone here is dressed in light colours and I’m in black...black...again...my mother in law says that black isn’t a colour it’s a mood...my mother in law...oops...I promised her I would get her that recipe...damn...I forgot to send it to her...I will call her when I get home...home...crap I need to pay hydro... hydro...damn we need lightbulbs...

“Breathe in, and breathe out.”

...if I get the lightbulbs on the way home at the drugstore oh and deodorant for Jac too I can swing by Loblaws and get dinner for tomorrow because if I wait for tomorrow I won’t be able to be home for the air conditioning guy who promised to swing by with the new part and lord knows I’m hot...

“Breathe in, and breathe out.”

Really buddy?  In whose world?  I was not mindful, I was mind-full.  Big difference.

That said, I did spend the rest of the evening in the spirit in which it was intended, and I did put my mind to putting my mind to rest.  When Sri Sri Ravi Shankar came on stage he was in himself mesmerizing in his ability to command our attention and be peaceful all at once.  Several times since that outing I have tried to do the same - breathe and be peaceful  - just me, myself and I, in a captured quiet moment. 

In case I need to mention in one more time, today’s word is breathe

Let’s all try to do more of it.  Deeply, thoughtfully, mindfully and joyfully.  Our very life and vitality depend on it, and so does our happiness and health. 

Breathe in and breathe out.  Breathe in and breathe out.  Just like Julia.