The top of the inhalation is a fold, the bottom of the exhalation is a cut. The fold returns the breath to its downward course, the cut extinguishes it. The cut is the surprise of death, the cleanest mark of impermanence. The beginning of the inhalation is the first dawn, the very edge of the cosmos’s beginning.
Attentive breathing–each asymmetrical, open circle; each twisted, pleated, unfinished–dramatizes the entirety of life, mine and any other’s, and this so loudly in the surprise of feeling unhanded. For the top of the inhalation does not come quite when one would anticipate its coming but early, late, or with a jolt. And the bottom can come hollowed, like a gasp, or hallowed, like a guest. The cavity of the body gives as much as it is given; lets as much as it is let; attunes as much as attempts. There is no more effort than there is effortlessness, no more renting than being rent, no more the delicious luxury of this than the wonted necessity of the unseen veil.
Breathing while observing, while feeling oneself breathing, is sweeter than spring and more delicate. It is love of self except it is also its other. The fold is seeing oneself turn, the cut is seeing oneself off. Or missing the moment completely.