Update on Buddhist Chanting

I told you last week I was going to listen to some Buddhist chanting while I tried just resting in savasana. I stuck with it for about 15 minutes, but my mind was everywhere. Totally everywhere. Second day, it lasted about 5 minutes. I could tell I wasn’t ready for this. Not hard to figure out.

So instead of listening to chanting to help me stay relaxed yet focused, I thought about what my yoga instructor keeps telling me: connect with your breath. I kind of knew what she meant, more like “focus” on your breath, but the choice of words got me going. I love etymology and how people employ various words, so I started meditating on connection. My go-to source for etymology is the Oxford English dictionary, so a-searchin’ I went. Of the nine definitions of “connect” I really, uh, connected with one: “link to a power…supply.”

When we connect two things together, and don’t take this analogy too far, the two independent things become stronger because of the other’s traits. Partners. Fabrics. Grass-roots organizers. Chemical compounds. So if I connect to my breath as a power supply, I become stronger, and my breath (and my control of it) also becomes stronger. When I connect my breath with my movement, and not just during yoga practice, everything is more controlled and powerful. It sort of amazes me how that works. It’s actually really hard to think negatively or feel badly about yourself and circumstances when you are connected to breath. It really is empowering.

So I’m just going to allow my mind and body to do what they will after practice and be mindful of my connection to my power supply during the day. I anticipate increased awareness of gratitude and compassion, and strength of body, mind, and soul. Life on the yoga mat is teaching me so much more than I’ve learned about myself in many years. I invite you to join me on the mat anytime for a little growth of your own.