Nectar of this Breath

At this full moon, in the festival season of the great Mother (Dwali in India, Samhain in northern Europe), I share something of the mystery of the Breath, for this very breath is the soul of the Goddess, she who casts out the net of stars, yet comes to dwell in our bodies.

There is nectar in this inhalation, the secret 'breath within the breath,' spoken of by Kabir. It is absolute stillness vibrating as luminous ecstasy, and absolute silence pouring out the song of love. The waveless is Shiva, its undulations the Goddess Shakti.
I do not need to move to a 'higher' plane, or a 'higher' world to find Her. She is the very life that flows into my body through this inspiration. And each exhalation is a privilege, an opportunity, to express gratitude.

A thin silk thread passes from the most distant yet personal star above, down through the crown of my head, like a sparkling pour of wine. This subtle thread becomes more solid, brilliant and clear the more I empty the grail of my mind to receive her generous outpouring. Stay open, O my soul, innocent as the child whose fontanelle has never turned over its cup.

The silken strand of Shakti threads through my vertebrae to the base of my backbone, rooting deep into sacred darkness, touching the core of the planet. So She, the Shekinah, comes as a pilgrim God to pitch her tent in the wilderness of my body, her naked presence gowned in my breath.

And on her glistening mala, which is my spine, 108 pearls are threaded, 108 Gurus teaching in a single silent breath the wisdom of all the world's temples. The gift of her inhalation is the axis of the galaxy, the axis of ten thousand galaxies clustered on my vagus nerve.

Discipline? Only an ecstatic simplicity, a rippling on the ocean of effortlessness. My body dissolves like mist, leaving only a sparkling rosary of breaths. Yet each sigh moves the tides, the seasons, the planetary dance. I need no other prayer. To breathe is worship.

Inspiration ascends through my flesh, into the blue sky above my crown, offered to those invisible countless stars. Exhalation descends through my flesh, into the earth, offered to the Mother's dark loam. My backbone is the Tree of Life, rooted in the groundless, and she who spirals around the Tree is Kundalini, the ancient serpent Hakima-Sophia, Wisdom herself.

This is the privilege of birth in a human body: to become the axis that marries the macrocosm and microcosm. To be the incarnation of God in a breath of Humanity.

All scriptures are mine, all worlds pearled in my backbone. This is no esoteric meditation for yogis, lamas, tantric mystics, cave-dwelling saints, but the common task of our crucified humanity; for each of us is the living Cross that centers East and West, Earth and Sky, Darkness and Light, in a humble offertory, in the temple of our chest. For in the words of Chief Sealth, 'All beings share one breath.'

To the Teacher whose flame ignited my wick, whose whisper awakened my inhalation, I bow down. I bow down in the perfect freedom of Gratitude. Jai Guru Dev.

Painting by Wieslaw Sadurski

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