Our cells are engaged in a constant delirious dance — a pulsing collective absorbing releasing back-and-forth roaring group ecstasy.
Deep inside, DNA unfurls; proteins haul enormous Dionysian lipid molecules; blood cells stream through vessels like salmon in a river. The soft disks of their beings pour through us, bearing life like hordes of angels, converging in the heart. And on and on and on and on.
What does it sound like? What do you hear as a blood cell soaring through pulsating rhizomatic interwoven interconnected rivers branching through the body, thinking of nothing, unencumbered by logic, flying through a dark sea?
As the body breathes out, you begin to tire, you’ve absorbed so much in your long life, it feels like your darkest time — darker, darker — then you pass into that chamber, the central darkest toroid vortex whose pumping, all around you, is slow as the tide and as steady. You are home, in the heart. Here you replenish.
You breathe new breath, are filled again. Out you soar.
Breath. Pulse. Deep drum-beat. Tides. Renewal. Birth and death, of sun, of life, of everything.
We simply need to relax and receive. Breath, to me, is a perfect way to practice. The instrument, the method, the equipment, is built into the body. We’re all born with it and can turn our attention to it whenever we wish. As we breathe out entirely and our lungs are at their emptiest, they pause, wait, then expand again — all on their own, it seems — to draw in new breath. Effortless. Always re-given.
Focusing on breath allows us to experience the connection between mind and body, between seen and unseen, between the invisible, internal “magic” and the sensible, day-to-day “external” world. The yin and the yang.
From this connection and synergy pour all the answers we need. Breathing demonstrates, experientially, the in-and-out pulse of the heart, the rise and fall of tide, how sleeping and waking interweave. Secrets of death and life. How to give. How to receive.
We’re always doing it. Our bodies, like breathing, ebb and flow, advance, recede. Cells perish and regenerate every moment. Dark and light. In and out. The Tao is yin and yang together and we need them both.
The most delicious thing is to find the body’s unique balance. For a while, I thought being “goddess-like” meant being constantly receptive, sleepy, yin — all important states when the time is right, but too much and I start to feel crazy.
Same with being constantly active. In the middle, though, we each have our own point of peace. And when we start from there, we can trust our bodies to know when to rest and when to act. Just like they know when to breathe in and when to breathe out. The body knows when to release, when to wait, when to respond. And for the magic to flow, we gotta let go.
When our muscles relax, the blood, lymph, nerve signals and chi have an easier time getting from one place to another. This brings our bodies into greater harmony, within and without, all parts in communication and working together. The body is a fantastic, incomprehensible, experiential example of living synchronicity and we each have one—how cool is that?
As we relax more and more, the more just-right people, events, things, and ideas enter our experience. We no longer need to go out and “make” things happen, to constantly think about how to adjust life to fit us or vice versa. Instead, our body’s level of effortlessness spills over into the world.
We drop our layers of tension like Salomé’s veils, revealing the true dance: an effortless orchestration conducted by earth and stars, by all beings, by the body, by breath.
originally published as “Dropping the Veils, Invoking Ganesha” at www.elephantjournal.com