hen we breathe deeply, and with full feeling, we allow the energies and emotions of our lives to flow through us naturally and completely. Fully receiving and releasing each passing moment, we are at ease; in harmony with the world around us.
However, it could be noted that most of us rarely, if ever, find ourselves living in this natural state. Instead, we often ‘brace ourselves’ against the more difficult and challenging moments of our experience, attempting to resist or control the circumstances and outcomes of our lives. In so doing, we constrict the natural movements of our breath, creating patterns of physical tension, discursive thought, and obstructed feeling within us.
This activity of recoil creates a range of psycho-physical symptoms—from sensations of pressure and discomfort, to states of boredom and irritability, to more extreme emotions such as fear, anxiety, anger or depression.
Finding ourselves in this state of self-contraction, we often attempt to alleviate these symptoms by resorting to various forms of distraction, such as impulsive eating, drinking, texting, watching tv, shopping, etc... or we may try to discharge our tension through constructive activities such as exercise, yoga, therapy, meditation, etc.
These actions may indeed bring us temporary relief, yet unlike the common cold that we can simply take medicine for and cure, the symptoms of this apparent dis-ease always tend to return, re-establishing themselves within us.
This is because the root cause of our problem is not something affecting us from the outside-in, but is in fact something we are doing to ourselves from the inside-out, by the way in which we are relating to our moment to moment experience.
Therefore, in order to truly feel better, we must learn to feel better. We must transform our emotional relationship to our experience, learning to unconditionally feel and breathe fully in every passing moment, no matter what pleasures or difficulties we may encounter.
In this way we learn to grow beyond the patterns of our reactivity, maturing into a way of being in which we no longer recoil away from the ever-changing currents of our lives.
Then our day to day experience can become a stage upon which we practice the art of living gracefully. Always letting go into deeper levels of feeling and relaxation, we are gradually drawn into a space of unconditional openness and peace that lies beyond all passing experience, entering into communion with the mysterious and radiant feeling of being itself.