Connected By Breath

~~~A Wave~~~ is a special contributor to this blog. Follow his Category, “A Wave: Connected,”  to follow his thoughts and discoveries of our connection to each other, to the world around us, and to the mysteries beyond. …

“Breath is the bridge that connects life to consciousness, which unites our body to our thoughts” — — Thich Nhat Hanh

The breath, taken from our planet’s atmosphere, is free for all of creation. No being can hoard air and try to get more than their share and neither can we buy, sell or trade the breath. If I hold my breath because I want to “own” the air.., I will die, but if I let this breath go…, it comes back to me in abundance without any conditions.

This fluid motion of breathing, however voluntary or involuntary on our part, allows precious oxygen to travel thru the trachea into the bronchi, which connect to the lungs. The lungs then divide into even smaller bronchi, called bronchioles. These bronchioles branch off into even smaller passageways called alveoli and each lung houses between 300-400 million alveoli. This vital, life giving oxygen, finally immerses itself into our blood stream through the tiniest blood vessels known as capillaries. The journey of the breath completes its purpose, allowing our one of our body’s most essential process to occur and breathing is the root process that all of the other essential processes of the body depend on.

This complicated process happens every second, of everyday, for every living thing on this planet. Breath is a symbiotic interconnection that we all share in every moment with our planet. It is so seamless and essential but yet, it is something that goes by overlooked and unnoticed each day. The relationship between all living things and our atmosphere/planet has been a central factor in the evolution of our physical, mental, and spiritual awareness. This exchange between plant and animal has occurred in every moment of everyday for hundreds of thousands of years before we ever came to exist. Its almost as if “we” are but just one singular expression of this unseen force, without which we would not exist.

My point is to emphasize that this life is a process of seamless, symbiotic interconnections, which humans take for granted each day. This breath travels to our very core each moment and yet we aren’t held accountable for ignoring it, or even polluting it. This interconnection has sustained our ancestors just as it sustains us, and all who will come after us.

The negligence and ignorance of the human being is a direct cause of the degradation of our health, which has been happening incrementally yet persistently. The byproducts of our accelerating industry, technological advancements, and modern conveniences are slowly destroying the very force that has given us life for millennia.., the air that we breathe, in every moment. All systems are affected by our inconsiderate ways, including our water supply, our farmlands and the protective biosphere that protects us from the sun.

I firmly believe that we as humans are capable of restoring balance to this system of interconnectedness that we are all tied to so deeply and we all must come to this realization, if we are to preserve life on this planet. The damage must be reversed in order to keep all systems and life in harmony, and the protection of our air, water, earth, atmosphere and organic way of life is vital, not just to us but to every living thing that exists now, and all that will exist after us.

“When we tug at a single thing in nature, we find it attached to the rest of the world” — — John Muir

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