How I Simplify My Life with Breathing

This Complicated World

The world is a pretty complicated place. So, the last thing I want is to make it more complicated that necessary. How about you?

Antidote? Simplify

For years, one of the things I’ve sought after, is a way to make things simpler. To reduce all those bummer, stressed out feelings that come from too much complication. I love tai chi, qigong and meditation because amongst their many fine qualities, one stands out day after day. That is the demand they make for me to maintain a close, sharp attention to the breath.

Why Does The Breath Matter?

Without the breath coming in and out, I’m just a dead body. The breath is so close to my life. It provides one of the keys of life; Oxygen. I can go a while without eating. I might get hungry but I’ll live. I might get a head ache, but I’ll live. On the other hand, I can’t hold my breath very long. Even magicians on tv or in Vegas, can only hold their breath so long. Within a few short minutes – no breathing? No living. End of story.

Breathing Means – Pay Attention Right Now

Paying strict attention to the breath keeps me firmly engaged in the present moment. When I can train my mind single-pointedly to observe the breath, I stay right here in this moment, letting go of worry about the past or future. After all, I’d never try to hold on to any one single breath. It’s a fool’s errand. It’s the nature of the breath to arise, peak and fade away. Each one after the next. Each one slightly different. Long. Short. Ragged or steady and so on.

And, when I stay right here, life gets a lot simpler.

Want to learn more? Come to classes at Calm Chicago. We even have some FREE classes right now as we gear up for World Tai Chi Day, Saturday, April 30 – 10 am in Chinatown Square!


Author: Hillary Johnson

Improvisational documentary and fine art photographer.

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