It’s Like Walking A Dog and Playing Basketball

So we continue on our journey together, our practice.  Our practice is making the breath your religion.  All athletes practice their craft.  In basketball you learn to dribble, pass, shoot, and play defense.  Everyday they  show up to the gym and practice with their team mates.  The coach instructs them on different plays, how the other team plays, and what the game plan is.  All of this applies to you as well.

So lets first look at the team (the mind).  At first the mind just wants to shoot the ball all the time and not pass to anyone.  Not only does it not want to pass and play with others; it wants all the attention, so its selfish.  Now the coach is the breath.  The breath is patient, fluid, flowing, and free. There is nothing constraining the breath.  The deeper the breath, the more control it has to operate and use the imagination as a tool for good.

What happens is the team (the mind) forgets its not the coach and not in charge, and is constantly barking (noisy).  Just like with a dog, you have to match its intensity.  So the noise is happening, and the coach raises up to the intensity.  How can the breath raise up to the intensity you may wonder?   Well it raises up, by deepening itself.  The more noise, the deeper the breath. What happens normally with people is that the team makes noise and the coach is affected. Here in this example the coach is the breath, so when the coach is affected it goes shallow and tight.  When this happens the team is constricted, conditioned, and has no possibilities of moving in a fluid, flowing manner.  The paradox is to deepen the breath with more noise.  By doing this action, it is as though the breath is pulling the leash of the dog, and telling it, “Slow down I am in charge here, listen, sit, heel.”

The more you incorporate this simple practice, the deeper you will go in your life.  Many books, workshops, talks, complicate this with 24 techniques to connect to yourself. You will discover that this simple technique is actually very difficult and  you will have to practice it daily.  Soon you will have the dog heeled, and the team playing as one. You are the coach and the master, but you must discover it and practice it daily.

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