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Space between

When we breathe is it the inhale or the exhale that is the most important part of breathing? Does there even have to be a “most important part”? I was speaking with a wonderful student after class yesterday, and as we sipped tea and chatted I realized something so profound about breathing. Okay... so my profound may not be the same as your profound, but I will elaborate and you can choose for yourself...

We had been listening to some amazing Shakuhachi music (Japanese Zen flute) and noticed the in-between moments of silence when there was no sound. There was no breath in or out, it was space for contemplation and a rejuvenation. The musician would create this space for the listener to be silent as well, as in any form of meditation or physical practice (be that yoga, tai chi, running...) when we are in that moment “in-between” we are actually experiencing enlightenment. We don’t recognize it however because we are looking forward to the next moment with great anticipation. Either the breath in or the breath out... we need these things to sustain balance and life... but for a moment can we live in that “in-between” moment and trust that all is perfect, all is in order, all is divine, all is...

Noticing this has brought me to understand the concepts of the Shakuhachi and it’s purpose and flow within a practice of yoga and meditation. Linking back to the story I wrote about the beautiful Corpse Pose. How in the moments of lying there “dead” and having the distant sound of the Shakuhachi Flute being played to release us into the pose and meditation deeper... it was stunningly provocative, inspirational, and peaceful. Now when ever I listen to any piece played by this instrument I immediately return to those silent moments of peace and tranquility. the spaces.

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