“Oh Breath of Life, I bow to you….divine teacher, beloved friend…I bow to you again and again…” Snatam Kaur, Ong Nama
These were some of the words in our morning meditation today…and I should explain that it was a group meditation with 8 students and 2 adults (all of us students, actually) who got up early and immediately at the invitation of our bell, (in fact two were up early to be sure they didn’t miss the sound of the bell) …all filing in sleepily, but eagerly to our circle, ….candles in the middle wafting a sweet fragrance of teak and tuscan herb, whose invisible fingertips pulled us all to our floor cushions in our familiar community circle. We sat quietly for several minutes, eyes closed, postures open to grace, listening to the music and our breath at first, …. then actually feeling the music, letting it our guide our breath and our bodies into a simple, natural swaying, as we each LET the morning dawn upon us. Then the words of the music began to seep in…“Oh Breath of Life, I bow to you….divine teacher, beloved friend…I bow to you again and again…” then many more moments of quiet until our bell’s sweet and lingering invitation threes times, reminding us of our true home (the goodness in which we reside, and the goodness that resides in us) …calling us to open our eyes to our community.
Next, after taking in each member of our circle with my eyes, I shared the words about our Breath being our teacher, our friend…asking for ideas on the possible meanings of that phrase….and questioning why we would bow to our Breath. Immediately the hand of the youngest member of our group (in Earth years) went up and without any hesitation or time to get his thoughts together, shared his thoughts. I listened in AWE as he said something like…”because we are so grateful for it, we know we couldn’t live without it, it can calm me down, it gives me strength when I am doing something hard, it is my closest friend…” and more, some of which has now drifted from me now except to know that he MORE than captured the essence…he KNEW. For one to KNOW deep within is everything! And other members had equally wonderful thoughts and ideas…”our breath guides us, we need to listen to it and we will know how fast or slow to go”….”it quiets me when I need that”….”it’s always with me”…”it has a rhythm that is ongoing, I can tune into that”…”it’s like a mint – it is refreshing and cooling”…”it keeps me alive”…” it helps me to focus when it seems like my focus is gone – I can listen to my breath and come back to ME”…”my breath helps me, it changes my tiredness into aliveness and I am grateful to it, I bow to it.”
I know that our regular academic subjects are necessary and lead us to options for ourselves and to the exploration of new ideas, I do value them, BUT…if I had to choose between them and being part of bringing forth or providing an environment that allows for this inherent KNOWING about how Breath is our teacher and friend, it would be a hands-down choice. Breath is my teacher and friend…but so are my students, in SO many ways!
Breath…our teacher and friend, always with us!
written by Tien Stone Langlois, Director/Lead Instructor — Scholars Together