Sustenance: Air Meditation

The sense of smell brings worlds of meaning to us, both subtle and not so subtle.  The not so subtle aspect is just every breath.  Every breath.  Every breath that we breathe is an aspect of the sense of smell that keeps us alive, and mostly, we are unconscious of it.

Allow yourself to take one or more intentional breaths, and as you breath out, offer gratitude for the air that sustains your very life, breath by breath.

The more obvious gift of the sense of smell are the odors it brings to us.  Each of us likely have familiar smells that take us to wonderful places of memory.  They don’t even have to be pleasant smells–only that they connect us to pleasant memories.  The smell of cooking collard greens is not pleasant by anyone’s measure, but that smell will take me, instantly, into my grandmother’s kitchen.  That grandmother has been gone from this life for many years now, and the loss of memory that Alzheimer’s brings characterized her final years. But, the smell of collard greens take me there, to her, and allow me to hold memory that she was unable to retain.  The power of air!

Find one of those smells in your life.  It may take a few minutes, but invite your body’s memory to recall a smell that takes you to a place of wonder, or joy, or tenderness, or some other significance for you.  If you enter into the memory, you will begin to smell the smell.

With each breath, air sustains us.  With some breaths, certain smells take us to places of deep and important memory.  And memories sustain us.

Take a few more breaths and offer your gratitude for these gifts of Air.

Bob Patrick

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