When I feel sad, I return to the breath. When I am angry, I return to the breath. When I am happy or excited, I return to the breath. When I am fearful or nervous, I return to the breath.
In all thoughts and feelings, both physical and mental, I return to the breath. A return to me.
I see this not as a way to close off from the World, or isolate myself. Nor do I see it as a selfish act in any way.
In fact, in my breath I am thinking “breathe in lovingly, breathe out lovingly”. Another teaching from Bhante Sujatha.
I see this as loving the self, loving all others. Each breath encompassing all life. The pure life force that connects all of us. And also a new beginning with each breath. No attachment to the breath, as we cannot hold onto this breath anymore than we can hold onto anything in this life.
To look even deeper into this, I can see that between the in-breath and the out-breath there is nothingness. And if one can see and understand this, we are free of attachment.
I cannot tell you that I have come to completely see and understand this myself. But I have gained an awareness of it, and practice to focus my attention on this healthy reality as much as possible.
Often I am swept away easily by some disturbing emotion, and mindfulness temporarily escapes me.
But with determination and practice, I try to remember to “return to me”. Breathing in lovingly, breathing out lovingly.
May each of you remember to love the self, and open your heart with love towards all others.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.