I have breathed my way through so many people I felt wronged by; through so many situations I couldn't change. Sometimes while doing this I have breathed in acceptance and breathed out love. Sometimes I've breathed in gratitude and out forgiveness. Sometimes I haven't been able to muster anything beyond the breath itself, my mind forced blank with nothing but the desire to be free of sorrow and rage.
What people love about life is its miraculous beauty; what they hate about death is the loss and decay around it. Yet losing is not losing, and decay turns into beauty, as beauty turns back into decay. We are breathed in, breathed out. Therefore all you need is to understand the one breath that makes up the world.
And if Amsterdam was hell, and if hell was a memory, then he realized that perhaps there was some purpose to his being lost. Cut off from everything that was familiar to him, unable to discover even a single point of reference, he saw that his steps, by taking him nowhere, were taking him him nowhere but into himself. He was wandering inside himself, and he was lost. Far from troubling him, this state of being lost because a source of happiness, of exhilaration. He breathed it into his very bones. As if on the brink of some previously hidden knowledge, he breathed it into his very bones and said to himself, almost triumphantly: I am lost.
When I missed the physical body of my partner, I meditated on its parts, tossed by the waves, torn, dispersed, and deteriorated. When memories of our lives together became acute and intense, I breathed. I breathed through each wave of yearning, of regret, of guilt, of what-could-have-been. Every time I asked him, 'Where are you?' A quiet voice immediately responded, 'I am here. I have never left you.' I did not only lose a partner. I lost my childhood all over again. I lost my soul mate. I lost the accepting father and the gentle mother that he was to me. I lost the dream of a 'normal life, ' which I had tried so hard to achieve. Now I had to face my own mind.
My idea of the Christian religion is, that it is an inspiration and its vital consequences--an inspiration and a life--God's life breathed into a man and breathed through a man--the highest inspiration and the highest life of every soul which it inhabits; and, furthermore, that the soul which it inhabits can have no high issue which is not essentially religious.
J. G. Holland
Yet surely that story she had imagined was a real thing? If you created a story with your mind surely it was just as much there as a piece of needlework that you created with your fingers? You could not see it with your bodily eyes, that was all... the invisible world must be saturated with the stories that men tell both in their minds and by their lives. They must be everywhere, these stories, twisting together, penetrating existence like air breathed into the lungs, and how terrible, how awful, thought Henrietta, if the air breathed should be foul. How dare men live, how dare they think or imagine, when every action and every thought is a tiny thread to ar or enrich that tremendous tapestried story that man weaves on the loom that God has set up, a loom that stretches from heaven above to hell below, and from side to side of the universe...
Instead of turning our heads from pain, we merge with it, neither holding on to it nor pushing it away, becoming instead an instrument of transformation. Recently, on my early morning drive to a health club, I saw a deer in the middle lane, trying to get up, but obviously crippled. Her eyes looked confused and frightened. As I drove by, I breathed in her pain and breathed out a blessing. I could feel a dark cloud swirling inside of me, but I also had an image of a deer running freely in the woods. I can never know if it helped her, but something loosened inside of me. Instead of turning away from her pain, I joined her. It was then I realized more deeply the power of Tonglin... When you feel hurt, confused, lonely, or sad, breathe into your pain, feel it, be with it, then breathe out an image of clarity, light, and a blessing. This alone will start to change your life.