Sunday, August 12, 2007

This morning I had the pleasure of watching an utterly peaceful event for a full 23 minutes. I’m talking about my breathing. I sat in a chair and did little else but observe the breath quietly entering and leaving my body. It couldn’t be called work, because whenever a wandering thought distracted my attention from the breathing, I just observed the thought, accepted it, and then gently brought my focus back to my breath again. I didn’t “concentrate” or “resist” distractions. All I did was watch what was happening, whether it was my breathing or the occasional distracting thought. The breathing, though, was what I found really remarkable. My body has been performing this beautiful process countless times each day for 65 years, and yet I almost never pay attention to it. The breath calmly comes in and then calmly leaves, over and over, as quietly as steady sunrises and sunsets. It’s a totally serene event, and it happens again and again and again. This morning I was fortunate to be a spectator at this magical occurrence. I felt like you might feel when witnessing a great miracle of nature, and it was all happening inside me as I sat in the living room of my modest apartment on Granite Street.

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