The waking breath

One of the things I am trying to do is attending to the first waking breath of each day – to notice it, and contemplate it and the ones that follow.  I am hopelessly miserable at it.  I miss the noticing almost 90% of the time, and I am trying!

I have 55 years of habit to break!  A habit of taking for granted the fact that I can breathe and live; a habit of assuming that the air I breathe has sufficient oxygen to do what it needs to do to make my body work; but also, most importantly for me, a habit of failing to dwell in the simple amazement that I get to live, to breathe, to experience, to engage, to think, to grow, to wonder.

I can spend most and sometimes all of the hours in any one day simply not noticing or treasuring the fact that I get to live.  I can be alive but not living.  Now I am wanting to form a new habit.  The habit of noticing.  I am trying to cultivate an attitude of amazement.  And while I am struggling with attending to the phenomenon of the first conscious breath of each day, when I do, the day that follows seems to have a deeper richness to it.  Those days become laced with gratitude.

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