Being Breathed


A Reiki session with a new client the other day brought up the concept of “being breathed.” Being breathed is the ease that happens when we let our body, and in parallel, the Universe, do the work that it inherently knows how to do.

Earlier this month in Hawaii (oooh, Big Island lava love), I did my first ever SCUBA dive. The instructor emphasized the importance of breathing, but particularly how we had to be methodical about it underwater. Because of the pressure, our lungs wouldn’t naturally fill; rather, we had to intentional inhale through our mouths. And perhaps even more importantly, to prevent a buildup of carbon dioxide – which is actually what makes you feel like you are drowning and swim for the surface when free swimming – we needed to intentionally breathe out completely.

Fortunately, on dry land, we don;t need to do that. Our exquisitely evolved bodies take in air and release air (unless we have a respiratory problem) quite naturally. Now, our breathing can definitely become unhealthy, labored, or shallow. In yoga, meditation, sports, even Reiki, there is absolutely a place for learning to attend to our breath, to calm our breath, to control our breath.

breatheBut today, I am talking about letting ourselves be breathed. Just letting our body do its thing. Joanna Macy explains the Buddhist meditation of “Breathing Through.” There is an energetic corollary to this physical notion. That is letting our lives, our spirits, be breathed. It is what 12-step programs call “turning over our will” to a higher power. It is trusting that whatever windy course that fate and goddess have put you on, it;s for a reason.

So just for today, let the Universe breathe you. What to have for breakfast? Who to call? What  email to answer? What to do about a relationship problem? How to talk to your kid? What movie to see? Just relax into it, and see what happens if you “be breathed.” It’s possible you will find an unexpected ease.

More On This Topic:

Joanna Macy on “Breathing Through” – a Buddhist meditation

We Are Being Breathed – The Balance of Managing and Allowing Breath – Heather Hightower

Do You Feel Yourself Being Breathed? Vanice Medley

BEING BREATHED – A Series of Dharma Talks by Ven. Shikai Zuiko o-sensei

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