One Step and One Breath at a Time

I take a moment, to literally drive by the river, on my way to breakfast. There are deer everywhere, and the river currents are strong. I don't have time to stay for a visit, but I needed to somehow connect to the river, at least visually, if not organically. Someday soon, Grace and I will launch into its healing waters again.

I drive home, after meeting a dear friend and companion on the spiritual journey - a brother - whom I have not seen in a while...We have a heart to heart over brunch, and review where we have been in the last several months. We are connected deeply and it is always a joy to be in each other's energies...

As I drive home after brunch on this beautiful sunlit day, I listen to a song by Bliss, that seems to capture perfectly what I feel and where I have been:

"A mind so haunted is bathed in such bliss
I'd trade the world for a moment of this...

The veil is lifted, illusion has died
The voice of the angel is calling tonight
I see the dawn..."

Thoughts come and go of the book I began last night, Learning to Breathe: One Woman's Journey of Spirit and Survival, which is really a story about how we can survive incredible adversity. I think of the author of this book, Alison Wright, crushed by a truck, in an incredible accident in Nepal, her organs ripped and re-arranged within her, whose meditation practice enabled her to survive, so that years later she is able to go and express her gratitude in a pilgrimage she makes to Mount Kailash...

This feat is incredible for anyone to undertake - let alone someone who struggles to come back from insurmountable injuries. As Wright climbs the snowy Dolma pass at 18,700 feet, under harrowing circumstances, she simply repeats this mantra to herself:

"One step at a time, one breath at a time..."

That is all that is ever required of us - to take one step and one breath at a time... And I realize, in many ways, this is what I have been doing...

I tell my friend that I have sat in meditation now, every day for four years - and twice a day for nearly three, even though I meditated on and on for half of my life... I made this commitment to sit at least twice a day for life - taking one step and one breath at a time - and it is taking me where I need to go...

I am only beginning to experience the fruits of this practice...

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments that take our breath away."
- Boyd Palmer

"For a long time it had seemed to me
that life was about to begin...
But there was always some obstacle in the way,
something to be gotten through first,
some unfinished business,
time still to be served, a debt to be paid.
Then life would begin.
At last it dawned on me
that these obstacles were my life."
- Alfred D. Souza

"When we walk to the edge of all light we have
and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown
we must believe one of two things will happen--
There will be something solid for us to stand on
Or, we will be taught how to fly."
- Patrick Overton

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