I  am becoming water:

I let everything rinse its grief in me

And reflect as much light as I can.

Mark Nepo

The Buddhist call to breathe in the suffering of the world and breathe out light seems important right now.

These are dark times in need of great light and transforming love that lives within each of us. We are all called to sit in silence, despair, overwhelm, and indifference and create something else. We must stay connected to life’s ebb and flow and maintain soft hearts even, and perhaps especially, when it hurts.

One of my favorite church hymn refrains is, “When I breathe in, I breathe in peace; when I breathe out, I breathe out love.”

I learned it in church years ago, but sing it whenever and wherever I need it today. Peace washes over me with each repetition. Cleansing, healing, and calming happen. Connection, release, and communion happen. When I sing it I remember the songs of joy and strength and healing I know in my bones. When I sing it I see something different than the suffering of the world. When I sing it I don’t feel scared and powerless and alone.

Breathing allows pain in. Breathing out releases the pain.

Breathing sets a spiritual alchemy into motion in which pain becomes peace, confusion becomes clarity, and darkness becomes light. That is how it works. The simple act of breathing, repeated mindfully again, and again, and again, changes us for the better. Always. Yoga teaches that the postures are pathways to breath. That makes sense to me. Years have taught me the only way not to fall, and to fully experience each posture, is to surrender and simply breathe. That is the way down deep power that we all have: the universal blessing of love. That is the source of healing and change. That is the source of strength and courage. In allowing the pain in we are healing ourselves. In allowing peace to flow in and through us we are love.