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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Follow the Breath

Finding Center

A soul without a center feels constantly vulnerable to people or circumstances.”
John Ortberg (Soul Keeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You)

Ever wonder what it means to be “centered?” Picture one of those inflated vinyl clowns we had as kids. You punched it and it bounced right back. No matter which side you punched, it had no problem righting itself. In human beings, being centered means having a solid reference point to come back to that is calm and undisturbed by life's circumstances. Most of us can be tipped, even temporarily derailed, by the blows that life and strong emotions throw at us. But, if we have a strong center, and know how to get to it, we don't stay down forever.

Most traditions place that sweet center in the belly, and get there through the breath. Just below the navel is the energy center called by the Taoists, the dan t'ian which literally means “sea of qi” or “elixir field.” It corresponds with the diaphragm, which controls breathing. In learning any of the martial arts and meditation, concentration on the breath is what brings us to center. But, it doesn't stop there. We can learn to bring that energy up a notch to the heart, and open that so that love energy flows freely. Further up, between the eyebrows, is the thought chakra, which aligns our dan t'ian with our heart, and then with our thoughts. And, finally, up to the chakra at the crown of the head, that opens us to the guidance of Spirit. Energy follows intention. If we intend to move our energy upward, that's how it flows.

Having at the center of one's being a strong sense of self, and connection with a higher power makes it easier to bounce back from difficulties. Knowing that you are strong, you are capable, and you have successfully weathered storms before inspires confidence. Believing that whatever happens, you will still have you, and you will still be an indomitable spirit connected to the universal Source, centers and calms. Take some time today to focus on your breath. Come back to you, and you will feel less vulnerable.

                                                                In the Spirit,

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