This morning, I found myself waking up with an intent stare at L’s sleeping body. I just wanted to make sure that he was breathing as he was unwell the night before. My body relaxed when I saw his body softly breathing and my lips lifted into a smile. My heart is filled again.
A breathe is all it takes to be alive.
A breathe is all it takes to feel love.
A breathe is all it takes to give love.
A breathe can be so much more.
As we look to express our love outwardly with presents and flowers, let us also offer the precious gift of our presence. “The most precious gift you can give to the one you love is your true presence,” wrote Thich Nhat Hanh in his book, “True Love – A Practice from Awakening the Heart”.
Here is a short mindful practice from the book – try it for yourself, for those you love, for life:
The practice of mindful breathing: “Breathing – I know that I am breathing in; breathing – I know that I am breathing out.” If you do that with a little concentration, then you will be able to really be there, because in our daily life our mind and our body are rarely together. Our body might be there, but our mind is somewhere else. Maybe you are lost in regrets about the past, maybe in worries about the future, or preoccupied with your plans…
Between the mind and the body, there is something that can serve as a bridge. The moment you begin to practice mindful breathing, your body and your mind begin to come together with one another. It takes only ten to twenty seconds to accomplish this miracle called oneness of body and mind.
Perhaps this evening you will try for a few minutes to practice mindful breathing, and then approach the person you love and with this mindfulness, with this concentration, you will look into his or her eyes, and you will say, “My dear, I am here for you.” You must say it with your body and your mind at the same time, and then you will see the transformation. This is the greatest gift you can offer to someone you love.
Let us celebrate Valentine’s Day and the Lunar 7th Day of 人日 (ren ri) mindfully, awakening love and happiness within ourselves.
As we wish for our loved ones to be happy, let us also wish for all living creatures to be happy and loved.
Yap Ching Wi