Flower Fresh

IMG_1784The second line in the gatha (practice poem) that we began last week is:

“Breathing in, I see myself as a flower, breathing out, I feel fresh.”

We can use the word “flower” as we breathe in, and “fresh” as we breathe out.

Thich Nhat Hanh says, “If you look at children, they look very much like flowers.  And all of us were born as flowers, but because we have not taken care of ourselves well, that is why sometimes our flower is tired, we wither a little bit.  And breathing in like that is to refresh our flower, to make it beautiful again.”Ranuncula 3-08

For me this gatha is a good way to think about breathing and awareness as self-nourishment.  I have a tendency to hold my breath or breathe shallowly, even after all the years of training.  When I feel a bit depleted it can be energizing and relaxing at the same time to send my breath into different parts of my torso—up into my shoulders, behind my shoulder blades, expanding my side ribs, feeling my belly expand or my chest rise.  And then I let the breath permeate every cell of my being.

If at the same time I imagine a flower blooming, I have a sense of beauty blossoming inside, heart-opening….  

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