by Pompe Strater-Vidal
Zen Sensei and founder of Relax Breathe Flow

The world around us is reeling with challenges these days. My heart goes out to those of you living with wildfires. And with losses of all kinds.

Collective grief, along with heartbreak, anxiety and rage, swirl around us. Contemplative practice is challenging in times like these. Times of crisis, and constant change.

What to do?

The answer is the same as in Dogen’s time, when he first brought Zen back to Japan from China, almost 800 years ago.

Sit for a moment, on a cushion or on a chair, focused on your breath, breathing in and breathing out.

Sit as long as you like. A few minutes, a half hour or more.

Anchor yourself in awareness with your breath.

From there, allow awareness to seep out into your daily life, drop by drop. Breath by breath.

Throughout your day, as problems come and problems go, come back to your breath. Wherever you are. Whatever you’re doing.

Our breath is the door to the present moment, to the world of now. Right here, right now.

Awareness builds up over time, expanding our vision of the world. It opens our heart, as well as our mind, to the beauty around us, and the magic of loving kindness.

Some teachers call this mindfulness.

Others call it self-remembering. Coming back to your true nature, over and over again, until it becomes your home.

All the best,