Breathing to ‘right’ self is a lifetime job

Don’t think my friend, Lea Stongheart, expected such angst from me while responding to her comment about “The Hidden Costs of War” Retreat at Omega Institute five days last week [April 22, 2010].  It just spewed out. I guess I’m still processing much of what occurred. It will take time to learn to use tools to seek peace without first having to go to war.

Hi Michael,
I am glad you got through another retreat. I have had my own. Right here…for quite a few months now. I just love the silence…communion with the divine…Yesterday I picked violets, hugged trees and stopped by a playground and tooled over the kid’s extension bridge…the mind of a child…a good thing.


My prayers were with you as you had your time in Rhinebeck


  • On 04/30/2010 at 22:27 michael j contos Said:

    I’m not through this experience yet. I sought little, if any, closure, and I had opened myself a lot. Maybe too much. More than last time, and there was a carry-over into my regular life that stinks of Vietnam and bad memories. Want nothing more now than to forget the ghosts from the past and get on with my life.

    Ain’t easy with PTSD.

    Who do I hold responsible? Who should I aim my rifle at . . . and shoot?

    Damn war to hell, and damn all those bastards who call for war without first experiencing what its like to be in harm’s way.

    Refuge. Give me refuge. Give me Sanctuary.

    michael j
    bad state of mind.


  • Breathing, though. Still breathing. One small breath at first, and then another. Third one is the big one, feeling it go out of me, ridding myself of the venom, the bile, the defilement.

    All part of the process. Good and bad. The breathing helps with both. The good and bad. Need it for the good, but can not live without it — live happier, with less suffering — unless I seek the breath when the bad engulfs me. Like the moment or two that had  just lapsed.

    Meditation can help in the struggle

    Now my head’s clear. Thoughts all gone. Breathing holds my focus. There’s no one here to do me any harm. No one attacking me. No one prodding me to march on. No one pushing me to do . . . I don’t know what.

    Peace. It’s within me now. (Jesus Christ. How many times must I make the same mistakes over and over?)

    Seeking Peace  is not always my first choice, unfortunately. Rage sparks and wants to be “fanned” to an uproar. I can allow it to flame up. Or I can let it dissipate. Rage can simply die of its own accord, just by ignoring it; by concentrating on my breathing, by focusing on my breath. Once again with three deep breaths.

    Will it ever get easy? Probably not. But, I’m learning. Give me another 40 years and maybe I’ll get it right.

    (Why did I not publish this until now? Three years have gone by, and I see little has changed. However, I am now able to “watch” myself a little better when anger erupts up and I know I simply can “let it be.” Maybe that’s what enlightenment is really all about. Being aware. And learning to “Let It Be!”)

2 comments on “Breathing to ‘right’ self is a lifetime job

  1. contoveros says:

    Silence that grows in stillness is the only way I know how to listen to God!


  2. Beechmount says:

    When silence is all that surrounds you, your spirit can journey into a world of limitless horizons to find meaning and search for answers – to nourish a hungry soul filled with doubt and uncertainty. It is in the great silence that all religions were created.


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