March 23, Harada Roshi; Guidance #2

How are you doing?

Are you working on deepening your breathing?

Everyday we see the news changing. Of course we cannot ignore the stories. Yet there is no news about our breathing, that is why it is up to us to make the effort. If we get moved around by all this information, if our breathing become shallow, then blood flow becomes stagnant as well. That is why we don’t need to ignore the information we receive through our eyes and ears, but to lengthen our breathing. 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds…. 20 seconds… the more we lengthen our breathing, the further it can be lengthened…

The breathing does not happen by itself, but it is us who is creating the breathing. Looking at this carefully, we see how we use our consciousness towards outer matters, yet if our awareness which faces within becomes weak, our essence becomes empty and we easily get confused. Our consciousness becomes shallow and we get pulled around by information from outside of ourselves.

Instead, with each breath, exhaling down to our lower abdomen and actually feeling that tautness in our belly. That is how we should breathe.

From the olden days it is said that in our breath ‘dirt’ accumulates. You may wonder how can dirt accumulate in the breath which cannot be seen? Greed, hate and delusion. Delusion is that darkness of mind, when our mind becomes small and has no breadth or depth to it. This is called: dirt in the breath.

Our breathing needs to be wide and expansive. We bring our attention back to the breathing and not looking for anything outside. Letting our breath become smooth and calm. Peaceful. It needs to be expansive, to be majestic so that it can reach the very end of the universe. Practice letting your breath expand to the other side of the world.

When our consciousness is turned outward, that is when we lose this essence in our breath. If we only give attention to information from outside and do not deepen our breathing focusing inward, then we are ruining our own life-energy. That is a foolish thing to do.

That which supports our life is not information but our own breathing. We need this fresh breath that can reach all the cells in our body and refresh them. There is no need for a high philosophy but simply face within and align your essence.

Please do not stop your efforts, use your breathing to invigorate yourself. Then you can face with a calm mind the outer information. For this I am praying.