The Mindfulness Blog

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Time Marches On

Tip of the cowboy hat to a favorite singer/songwriter, Tracy Lawrence, for recording such a great song. Thanks a lot-- Gene and Roy got nothing on you!

It's been several years (and approximately 250 postings) since I started this particular blog and in reflecting on that fact, I realized that I really like research and writing-- which is something that unwittingly developed when I was practicing law. Who'd have ever imagined it would lead me to blogging about songs I love, mindfulness/meditation and the passage of time?

Increments of time are many and varied (here comes the Bubba Gump list): There are clock increments, calendar increments, hemispherical increments, manmade increments, natural increments, space-travel increments, deep sea diving increments and so many more--my favorite is the breath.

The breath is not only an increment of time, in the yoga tradition it's referred to as prana and there's a whole body of practice known as pranayama, which is all about breathwork and the movement of energy to various parts of the body through directing the breath. Calming the nervous system, while enervating certain muscles and organs.

In the practice of meditation, the breath can also serve two purposes. First, it's a place (a shelf, if you will) upon which we can rest our attention while we're meditating. Second, the breath is what we return to every time we notice that our mind has wandered, so we can begin watching the mind as it thinks thoughts, again and again.

As it turns out, the breath is incredibly useful-- it feeds the body with oxygen and removes carbon dioxide, moves energy to places most needed in the body while calming the nervous system and fills two significant functions in the practice of meditation.

Oh yeah, and it's a particularly useful way to measure time!


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