One day Kevin and his friend went to visit a Buddhist Monastery at the foothills of a village in Tibet. As they entered, they noticed a child monk; he can’t have been more than ten years old teaching a group of five-year-olds in a monastery. He had a great aura about him, the poise and confidence of an adult. He also looked very friendly and had a beaming personality.
Seeing this little child, Kevin asked in a surprised manner, “What are you doing?” “We just taught their first class ever,” he said, then he very politely asked me, “Sir, what did you learn in your first day of school?” “I started to learn the alphabet and numbers as all children do when they go to school in the beginning” said Kevin.
The little monk smiled at Kevin and said, “The first thing we teach them is how to Breathe.” “Why?” asked a speechless Kevin. He then replied, “Because the only thing that stays with you from the moment you are born until the moment you die is your Breath. All your friends, your family, the country you live in, all of that can change but the one thing that stays with you is your Breath. Breath is very vital for all of us living beings.”
This ten-year-old monk then further added, “When you get stressed, what changes? Your Breath. When you get angry, what changes? Your Breath. We experience every emotion with the change of the Breath. When you learn to sit quietly and calmly, your breath becomes soft, your attention becomes focused, gentle and careful, as soft as the breath itself and then you can navigate and manage your breath in a perfect way you want. You can also steer any situation in your life in a positive way.”
This was a great learning for both Kevin and his friend. They were so grateful to the little monk who taught them such a valuable lesson they would never forget and they left feeling so happy and contented.
A beautiful life does not just happen, it is built daily by prayers, humility, sacrifice, letting go of unwanted negativity, meditating on our breath and being loving-kindness.