BREATHING PEACE by Ed Hirsch
Who is the other? And who are you? Notice that, when the other is identified as friend, you take yourself as a friend. When the other is identified as enemy, you take yourself as an enemy. And so on.
Basically, the sense of self and other is that of self and not-self. Do you take not-self basically as friend (basically with you), or foe (basically over-against you, or even indifferent to your existence altogether)? Let’s approach this not through thinking but through the simple experience of breathing. Breathing is basically an experience of the interchange of self and not-self, and one that we are largely unconscious of.
Imagine a friend in front of you, and notice how you are breathing. Now imagine an enemy in front of you, and notice how you are breathing. It makes a difference, right? But notice that, whether there is even anyone before you or not, the not-self that is always there is simply Presence. Recognize this, and notice how you are breathing.
The air you are breathing from outside you (not-self) is one with the air inside you (becoming part of the self-sense). So too, the Presence outside you, all around you, is the same Presence that is inside you. Be aware of breathing in the Presence that surrounds you, that embraces you, and taking it in as your inner Presence. Recognize that it is One Presence all the way throughout. The One Presence itself is breathing in and out. You are breathing, and you are being breathed.
Be aware of the Presence, or Being, or Spaciousness all around you, abiding in its own nature, just as it is, at ease, at rest, at peace. Consciously breathe in that peace with every breath, and release that peace with every breath. On the inhales, receive it fully into your deepest being. On the exhales, fully release into it. Open to the one flow, in and out, within the Peace of Presence.
That is the Peace of Presence, the Peace that is present whether you are with a friend or foe, whether you are in a garden or a ghetto. It is the Peace that passes understanding, the unshakeable, ever-present Peace that is Presence, that is your True Nature.
Ed Hirsch resides in Ashland – contact him at: email@example.com