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  • Writer's pictureNikolas Maslow

Breath as Refuge

'Breath as Refuge'

Meditation practice has been a refuge to me. No matter how intense the world feels, no matter the sorrow or pain or aggression that comes at me, I can take refuge in the one of the few autonomic processes one can control to bring ease to the nervous system: the breath. It's just there, breathing me no matter what. And having some sense of it, whether through the tip of my nostrils as cool air coming in and warm air coming out, or on the rise and fall of my belly, or the expansion and contraction of my ribs, it gives me a resting place. A focus. A buoy on sometimes turbulent waters.

If my mind wanders, which it invariably does, I can just gently come back to the breath. If my mind wanders one thousand times…well…I’ll just come back one thousand and one. It's no big deal. There isn’t a cruel meditation master telling me I’m doing it wrong. Its no big deal. I’m alive and just trying to show up to this one precious life with as much wakefulness as possible. I want to live it frame by frame. With compassion, gentle and being upright.

When we sit together in Akumal, we will have the opportunity to be with all of our experience with compassion. We will have a space to catch up with ourselves, unburdened by the constant pressures of our day-to-day obligations. We will sit with our sorrows and joys in an incredibly rich and healing setting. Retreat is one of the greatest gifts we can do for ourselves.

Love, Raphael Barker


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