Take a deep breath. Now slowly release it back to its source. Do this a few a times. Follow that breath from the moment it enters your nostrils or mouth, down through your throat, past the heart and filling your lungs and expanding the belly. Follow it as you release it back out. That breath you just kept company with has oxygenated every single cell and molecule in your being from your toes on up through every fiber of your brain. It allows you to be who you are.
One of the main causes of illness, distress, fatigue and on and on is the lack of fresh and plentiful oxygen feeding our body. It is also the main reason exercise is so highly recommended for everyone. It gets the oxygenated blood flowing to all vital organs. Unless those organs are fed in this way we will all suffer more than we need to.
Meditation is a way in which we can not only enrich our souls but our bodies in the same process. This is not an abstruse idea. It is quite simple in fact. The most difficult aspect is our willingness to make the time to focus on a single thing. But if we look at anything we have been successful at we can see that is was our single-minded focus that helped us achieve our intent.
The purpose of meditation can be different things to different people. But the one thing we will all have in common is to achieve a state of calm, clarity and better understanding of our present which we too often take for granted along with our breath.
There exists some basic needs for our bodies in order for us to survive. They are companionship, shelter, food, water, air.
*1) Companionship is not really a need but a blessing. I include it because knowing the people I know, how sad I would initially be if they were not in my life. But having the 4 elements I could survive even without companionship. That would never be my choice.
*2) Shelter we require from the elements that make up our world. Without it we would suffer and possibly could perish when exposed to any of the natural elements for too long an extended period of time. Why do you suppose so many before us ventured on such incredible journeys away from their known homes? It was in search of climates and food that could sustain them better than where they were.
*3) Food. I don’t know about you but I can only go so long without it before I turn into Mr. Hyde. It is food that nourishes our bodies to fight off beasts, plant our fields, harvest our crops to nourish our bodies and souls on their journey of ever more welcoming places within and without. We can survive without food for several days or even a week, being underfed for even just one day can cause:
* Low moral
* Physical Weakness
* Confusion and disorientation
* Poor judgment
* Weakened immune system
* Inability to maintain body temperature which can lead to hypothermia, heat exhaustion, or even heat stroke.
*4) Water is by far the most important nutrient for the human body. Water keeps us hydrated. We are after all over 73% water. It has been shown that if you lose just 2.5% of your body weight from water loss, you will lose 25% of your efficiency. For a 175 pound man that is only about two quarts of water. As one dehydrates, blood becomes thicker and loses volume. This causes the heart to work harder and circulation of blood to be less efficient. Don’t know all the science behind that, do know that we can only survive without water for a few days to a week depending on temperature and availability of shade.
The last and most important is:
*5) Air. If you are lucky you may survive for about 3 to 5 minutes. Nuff said.
Now we have come full circle. Back to the beginning. This is the why of my wanting us to be mindful with every breath we take. For our incredible ability to survive the harshest hardships we can not, I repeat, we can not survive without air.
So, the next time you take a moment to meditate know that what is allowing you that moment is each breath you take. That thanks to all of the trees who exhale oxygen that we need. Take it in deep and know as you release it back it will be nourishing that tree that lives off of the air you exhale. Breath in life and release life.
Namaste and much metta!
Namaste: I bow to the divine inherent in you, I respect that divinity within you that is also within me, the light within me honors the light within you
Metta: “loving-kindness, friendliness, benevolence, amity, friendship, good will, kindness, love, sympathy, and active interest in others.