A Different Breath

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“The Tortoise and the Hare, Revisited”  |  Anthony Satori

“Truly to sing, that is a different breath.”

— Rilke

The breath used in singing does indeed seem to be a different breath, by its very nature. It shares its essence, it seems to me,  with yoga breathing (pranayama), embodying the same kind of mind-body connection that this spiritual practice aspires to attain. It is the breath of life, of love, and of connection. It is a breath that holds a deeper creative resonance, as referred to in the ancient scriptures and mystic texts. It is a breath that comes not just from the body, but from the heart, from the soul, and from the spirit.

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The Other Side of the Veil

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“Sphinx”  |  Anthony Satori

There have been countless attempts throughout history to decipher, represent, and/or access the spiritual world.  Such efforts usually take the form of religion, philosophy, ritual, or artwork, and they are almost always fueled by our innate human drive to discover and/or create a door between the known world and that which exists beyond.  As can be expected, every door that has been created by man up until now has been, by necessity, inherently flawed.  The simple fact is that it is almost impossible to escape the corrupting influence of human imperfection, especially over time.  But the destination is true.  That which lies on the other side of the veil is real.  It is pure, it is powerful, and it is eminently worth pursuing.  So keep trying.  Keep seeking.  Every genuine attempt to expand our understanding of — and our connection with — the compassionate creative Spirit which pervades the universe is a gift to the future of the collective human soul.

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Legacy

"Monument"  |  Anthony Satori

“Legacy”  |  Anthony Satori

“Everyone must leave something in the room or left behind when he dies, my grandfather said.  A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made.  Or a garden planted.  Something your hand touched some way so that your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.”

— Ray Bradbury

Neptune in Repose

“Neptune in Repose”  |  Anthony Satori

Neptune is the Roman equivalent to the Greek god Poseidon.  He is widely recognized as the god of the sea, standing strong and regal with his trident, heavily bearded and boldly postured, exerting great power over his underwater domain.  His realm extends beyond the ocean floor, as well, since, as the ruler of water and climate, he is also the god of storms, wind and rain.  He can provide safe passage to sea-faring vessels, or, just as quickly, he can bring them to their doom.  He is also the provider of life-giving rainfall to agricultural endeavors, the filler of rivers and lakes with fish, and the one who causes underground springs to overflow with fresh drinking water.

Surely a deity of such breadth and reach deserves his own festival.  And, as it happens, tomorrow, July 23, marks the ancient Roman festival of Neptunalia.  Placed squarely in the heart of the dry season, this pleasant social event was slated as a time to celebrate the god Neptune and to implore him to bring more life-giving rain.  Often, a bull would be sacrificed as a symbol of agricultural fertility, and then the people would celebrate with the traditional activities of having a feast in the shade of shelters built with tree branches, drinking spring water, and sharing a pleasant, joyful time with friends.  During this festival, many of the standard social restrictions were lifted, giving people the opportunity to interact with others that they might not usually have the chance to meet.  What better time to get together with friends, share a meal, and perhaps open yourself up to the possibility of meeting someone new?

Neptunalia is also a good time to reconsider our own relationship with water, both literally and symbolically.  Many ancient religions place great importance on the metaphorical lessons that can be learned from water’s unique combination of fluidity, quiet patience, and immense power.  “Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.”  (Lao Tzu)  There is much that we can learn from observing water, such as how to adapt to our environment while staying true to our core selves, going with the flow instead of fighting it, and finding creative solutions to challenges. 

So, in celebration of Neptunalia, I encourage you to get together with some friends, share a feast, raise a glass of water, and open your mind to the flow of the Universe.  You might be pleasantly surprised where it takes you!

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