Just Breathe.

Hello my fellow human Beings:

It’s cold-and-flu season and over the past week or so I came down with a bad bout of a nasty flu bug that is spreading rapidly around town.

Fever, chills, headache, body aches, and a cough followed by a stuffy and runny nose.

Have you tried meditating while you have a cold?

The stuffy, congested nasal passages make breathing more laboured.  Your breath doesn’t flow as it normally does.  It is harder to follow its flow patterns and you can easily get distracted by a sneeze.

Does this mean that you should give up meditating when you are sick?

NO!!   Of course not.

Look at this situation as a new opportunity to deepen your practice.

Meditating when you are sick requires greater concentration, more focused attention, more patience, and more mindfulness of what is going on within you.

Remember, the real you is still there behind all the ill symptoms.

You are not sick, although you feel sick.  You are still Truly You.

So, JUST BREATHE.

There is a song by Michael W. Smith, entitled “Breathe”, in which he reminds us about the importance of breathing and its connection to life.  The first verse rings out:

“This is the air I breathe

This is the air I breathe

Your holy presence living in me”

With each breath, we are reminded that we are alive, that we are holy, that we are Truly Ourselves, whether we feel sick or well.

Our meditation practice helps to connect us to our True Selves, especially when we may forget its presence due to illness, tiredness or the like.  When we just breathe, we are reminded of our connection to the God within, to the Universe, and to each being in the world.

Former Korean Zen Buddhist nun turned author and meditation teacher, Martine Batchelor in her book, Meditation For Life helps us recollect the significance of our breath awareness meditation practice when she writes:

“As your mind becomes quiet and still, look more deeply into your breathing and the air that you breathe through your nostrils and all the pores of your body.

Consider that every human being is breathing the same air.  It goes into other people’s lungs and comes out again, then goes into your lungs and out again, and so the process continues.  Experience that connection.

Trees and plants are involved in creating the air you breathe.  Animals are breathing the same air.  Focus on your breathing and look deeply into it; experience that connection fully.

…Be one with your breathing, be one with the world.”

So if you feel tired,

JUST BREATHE.

If you feel sick,

JUST BREATHE.

If you feel down, discouraged or in despair,

            JUST BREATHE.

Just be still and breathe, connect to your True Self, and no matter how your body may be feeling, you can still live abundantly!

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