There are many important things that we as human beings can do to make the world a more peaceful place. We could:
say hello to everyone we meet on the street or in our daily journeying, or
smile to people as we pass them while shopping or working, or
volunteer at the Warming Shelter in Fond du Lac, or
help the poor and needy by volunteering at Fondy Food Pantry or Broken Bread, or
read a book to our child when he or she seems to need attention, or
call our representative in Congress and ask him or her to advocate for diplomacy rather than
military engagement with nations with which the U.S. struggles.
We could do any of these and many other wonderful, peacemaking actions.
However, the most important action of our entire life, the one constant, almost unconscious, thing that we can do to bring true peace to our world, is BREATHING.
First of all, there is no life for us without breathing. We physically die if we don’t breathe.
However, when we attend to our breath, it awakens us, vitalizes us and even for brief moments stills the roaming mind, which is often a catalyst for stress and anxiety in our personal or social world. Breathing brings us back to our Self. During this moment of attention to the breath, we reconnect to our core Self by not permitting our mind to worry or wonder about the past or the future. We are at that moment in the eternity of the NOW!
Notice what happens when you feel the cool breath touch the bottoms of your nostrils as you inhale. Notice the silence that immediately invades your chattering mind. Notice the feeling of coolness as it travels up inside the nostrils to the corners of the eyes. If you stay focused there, as you feel the gentle breeze go up and down, you may begin to experience a subtle, joyful feeling. This is normal and natural. Then the breath rises further to that point between the eyebrows—right at the bridge of the nose. There is another moment, possibly, of a honey-like sweetness that may present itself.
If you continue following the “feeling” of the breath, because the actual inhaled air goes from the bridge of the nose to the lungs, you will sense some activity there in the middle of the head. This “energy” flow is the life force (prana). This prana sustains, nurtures, heals and directs all of our bodily and mental functions. This prana keeps us alive! And brings us peace!
Of course, most of the time we are not even aware that we are breathing or even aware that our breath is nurturing us throughout the day, but it is!
Thank God for this continually enlivening force. Thank God for breath! And, of course, thank God for our most important action of our life—breathing! It not only brings us peace. It also brings us fullness of life!