putting out the fire, one breath at a time

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Following the breath, following the breath… lost in thought, return to breath…

Following the breath, following the breath… lost in thought, return to breath…

In an hour, I can’t count the amount of times I go through this cycle. Somewhere right between thought and breath, I realized that these thoughts are the whole point, right now. The end might someday be a continuous focus on breath, then it will be time to move on to the next step, but now, it’s about the distractions. If I ignore them, or try to oppress them, they just get pushed deeper and will need more effort to uproot in the future. As they dissolve into mindfulness and breath, peacefully, with little effort, we let go and both move on.

I have to say, I’m grateful that my life up to this point has left very few difficult memories, and the few I have that used to burn me have cooled considerably. None of them were things that were ”done to” me but my own actions towards others. Those are the ones that burned the hottest.

2 responses »

  1. Your last two lines are important, Joseph. I also have forgotten most of the things that were “done to me” by others. But I have not forgotten the many sufferings I have inflicted upon others.

    Perhaps this is how our understanding of karma appears.

  2. It’s an amazing sensation, when your still and that memory arises. At times I’ve broken out into an instant sweat. I can’t help but connect that experience to descriptions of Hell…

    It’s interesting to watch the effects of practice taking place.

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