Being the Breath, Part 1

Mary chose our instructors with such wisdom, and we are blessed to have access to their thoughts. Each one is happy to share their journey with us so that we may KNOW MYSELF BE IT IS, IS.

Michael Hakuzan Wenninger shares part of his awareness and understanding with us in the Spring 2009, issue Number 64, of The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter. You may obtain your own personal copy at

Being the Breath

“The only breath we can ever be is the breath we are.”

These simple words spoken by Mary contain all there is to know and realize in the moment. These words hold the practice of Jin Shin Jyutsu. These words are the combustion of realization and the manifestation of understanding. When we realize there is only One Breath and in that One Breath all is contained, all is nurtured and all finds generation and regeneration, we are in harmony. In the simple process of Being the Breath, we let go and receive the abundance of life. For it is in the moment that our lives are actualized.

While there is only this Breath in this present moment, we also know this Breath is always changing, always moving, always in transition from moment to moment. to receive this moment, we only need to exhale. Even this misses the point of being the Breath, for any concept, any thinking cuts us off from the Breath and the present moment. When movement stops, stagnation begins, projects begin. When we resist this moment, when our fears take over, when we neglect to fully perceive “What Is”, there remains an unknowing, an uncertainty of IT IS (Infinite Truth, Infinite Self). Doubts arise, we question our actions, and we hesitate in the moment. We feel this uneasiness and are discontent. Mary says, “I’m not in harmony. I’m out of Cosmic Rhythm.” (Text 1, page 13). To return to Cosmic Rhythm we need only return to the Breath and the realization that we are never disconnected from the “unencumbered communion with the Creator“. It is only our thinking that makes it so. The is-ness of the present moment is the expansion and contraction, appearing and disappearing of each Breath. This is where we live. Our presence of Mind governs the rhythm and texture of our relationships. Our understanding of IT IS determines the relationships of “What Is”.

In the practice of Kyudo, the Way of the Bow, the mind is trained to be Mushin, no mind. Kanjiro Shibata XX, Kyudo master and retired bow maker to the Emperor of Japan, teaches the importance of polishing the mind. He said that in sighting the arrow, there is no regard to hitting the target. Rather all is forgotten. Mind, target, bow, arrow, all become this Breath. All are contained in letting go of results. We are simply this moment of Breathing in space and time. In the stillness of the space between “this” and “that”, between the gap of the inhale and exhale, we can experience the infinite reality of space and time. Then we hit the target even if we don’t hit the target. In the essay Uji: Being-Time, (translated by Eido T. Shimano Roshi and Charles Vacher), Dogen Zenji, 13th Century Zen Master, presents a unique position of time. Conventionally, we consider time separate from ourselves. We speak of “not having enough time” and “running out of time”. We think of time in sequential, linear moments spreading from the past to the present to the future. Dogen, however, offers the view that all moments of Time are contained in this One moment. Past, present and future are only this moment of Uji: Being-Time. The “impeccability” of this moment contains all that is. The processes of regeneration, the dependent origination of all things are present in this moment of Time. Nothing is excluded, nothing omitted, nothing superfluous. Everything is absolutely perfect. There is only this Breath, only Being-Time. There is only this Breath Being-Time.

To be continued…


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