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Richard Crowson Commentary

Crowson: Autumn, the Season of Breaths


Tomorrow is the first day of autumn, the season of breaths. Here in Kansas we pant through our sweaty summer months. Just when we don’t think we can take it for one more sticky minute, nature grants us this delightful meditative season called fall for catching our breaths.

There’s a growing awareness of the importance of breathing meditations. 2 or 3 mindful breaths taken slowly and deliberately, give our manic brains something simple and calming to focus on. Some spiritual teachers say periodic breath meditations can be more helpful than all those costly mindfulness seminars with Tibetan masters in the Himalayas.

Mother Nature seems to understand our need for respite and sends us this slow season of calm change, right before she chills us to our shivering bones with a Kansas winter.

The traditional term for our attention deficit disordered brains is “monkey mind.” That’s a reference to our automatic compulsion toward nonstop thinking. This being an election year, we have a lot more monkeys than usual to deal with. Here’s hoping we can all relax into the arms of autumn and slowly breathe our way into its calming rhythms.

Focus on the leaves that will soon be changing yellow, red and orange in the trees overhead - a quiet, autumn meditation. If you dwell on the monkeys jumping from branch to branch, you’ll be hyperventilating instead. Happy fall!