February 23 – To Hold Nothing Back – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

To hold nothing back in every breath is a spiritual practice. 

For forty-nine years I have found that hesitation, more than anything, has been the invisible hitch that has kept me from joy.  I’ve found that the moment with all its meaning often moves on by the time I’ve reconsidered whether or not to enter it.  I am not saying we should always be impulsive.  More to the point, I have discovered, again and again, that I usually know what I need to do but just deny it and it is this small hesitation, this small resistance to enter what is real, that makes life feel neutral or out of reach.

To hold nothing back in every breath means staying committed to letting whatever we experience make its way in and letting whatever is in make its way out.  Holding nothing back means holding the intention to be an open vessel, in a daily way.

Simply and profoundly, our very breath can serve as a reminder that life is only possible if the exchange of inner and outer is undisturbed. Letting things in, feeling their impact, and, in turn, letting things out, expressing cleanly what we feel, is a spiritual practice that rinses the mind and heart.

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