Today, I want to reflect on hot air, and cool air . . . in terms of our breath! I was inspired while looking at this picture from my recent trip to Turkey, and saw these beautiful, brightly-colored hot air balloons rising over this stunning vista, remembering just last year when I took a ride in a balloon, hovering over the breathtakingly beautiful city of Luxor.
I was reminded of the Aesop’s Fable about the Man and the Satyr:
A Man had lost his way in the woods one bitter winter’s night. As he was roaming about, a Satyr came up to him, and finding that he had lost his way, promised to give him a lodging for the night, and guide him out of the forest in the morning. As he went along to the Satyr’s cell, the Man raised both his hands to his mouth and kept on blowing at them.
“What do you do that for?” said the Satyr.
“My hands are numb with the cold,” said the Man, “and my breath warms them.”
After this they arrived at the Satyr’s home, and soon the Satyr put a smoking dish of porridge before him. But when the Man raised his spoon to his mouth he began blowing upon it.
“And what do you do that for?” said the Satyr.
“The porridge is too hot, and my breath will cool it.”
“Out you go,” said the Satyr. “I will have nought to do with a man who can blow hot and cold with the same breath.”
Once you think about it, it’s a pretty delightful paradox isn’t it?
This week, spend time reflecting on your breath. Let your attention settle lightly on your breathing as you wait at a stoplight, or in line at the check-out counter. One meditation that I use is to focus at the very tip of my nostrils and notice the stillness of that spot as breath passes in and out. This motion of air passing through this point is like how a saw cuts wood, moving back and forth, but focused at a point in the center.
There are so many beautiful paradoxes in our bodies, like the hot and cold of our breaths! If you’d like to learn more breathing exercises, check out the yogic tradition of pranayama. Don’t forget to connect to your Authentic Soul daily, and remember . . .