Enter the Space Between the Breaths


Here is a passage from my book Leap Before You Look.

Become aware of the movement of the breath.
Without trying to change it in any way,
Watch the breath come in.
Just before the in-breath turns into the out-breath,
Notice the small gap.
Then watch the breath go all the way out.
Just before the in-breath,
There is another small gap between the breaths.
Pay attention to these gaps.
Be present in the gap,
And present as the gap.
In this way,
You will discover the true nature of silence;
You will know infinity;
You will become the source of all life.

The mystery is first mentioned in the Vigyan Bhairava Tantra, an ancient text from India, in which Shiva gives to his consort Parvati 108 portals to the infinite. This is the first of the portals he delivers.

Our life begins with the first breath, and we return to infinity with the last. Between these two, we incarnate as sentient beings.

The breath comes in and goes out almost a billion times in an average lifetime. The breath is a movement of energy; it is our relationship to the environment. The in-breath is a nourishing, a taking in, an absorbing; it charges the body. We receive; we are reborn. In that receiving, we are in relationship to the outer world; we are in twoness: a me and a not-me.

On the out-breath, there is expulsion; there is expression. Speech always occurs on the out-breath. Again, we are in relationship to what is outside us, but now we are giving to the world, we are letting go. With each out-breath there is a small death. Once again, in that relationship there is a separation, a me and a not-me.

We receive, we give, we absorb, we expel, and in each of these waves we are created again.

In the tiny gap between these two lies a portal to the mysterious dimension where you cease to exist as a fixed entity. Neither giving nor receiving, there is no more relationship, no more outer and inner, no more me and no more not-me. You have become Oneness.

Try this practice each day for a few minutes at a time. It is the key to true meditation.

To read more, purchase my book Leap Before You Look here.


Photo credits: graur codrin, nuttakit

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