Tag Archives: carolyn grady

Breath Awareness

A beautiful way to bring yourself home to your own beautiful presence is through centering awareness in the breath.

This is the very first and most important practice of all breath work. Before beginning to consciously control the breath, it is important to grow the awareness of how the breath is moving, or not, in this moment. We practice without criticizing, without judging, and without creating stories about the path the breath is currently on. When critical voices begin yammering inside, honor them as a part of you, and then, with kindness, come back to the breath. As judgments arise, name them simply, and come back to the breath. As thoughts flow through the mind, allowing them to flow, rather than holding on and developing them, enables awareness to gently sit in the breath.

If you would like to be guided in a Breath Awareness Practice, here is a short video.

Village Christmas Poem Podcast

Village Christmas

Driving into Fredonia from the dark

fields and vineyards outside

of my somnambulistic village,

the white lights wink alive and awake on Sycamore trees

while the old fashioned buildings

welcome the stranger that I am tonight.


I see this place as if for the first time, now.

My travels in cities blazing and dark

are over. There’s a welcome in these buildings,

handsful of comfort in old snow on the Commons’ Christmas tree.

The 19th Century fountains dance with lights. Village


hall smiles, full of white lighted windows. Village

gazebo appears a playful carousel of spirit tonight.

Shocking wind rustles the last leaves on trees

lining Barker Square. Snow clouds pounce, dark,

and laden with Erie’s energy on Temple and Main. Outside,

the green bushes wiggle with chill. Brick buildings


croon comfort to the traveler. Stalwart buildings

stand the lake storm now buffeting the village.

And I, weary with this century’s motion, lean outside

the Opera House humming an aria. Tonight

I hum fiercely, letting loose the dark

tones I have collected. Evergreen trees


blow back the tunes on their boughs. Silver maple trees

drop their dead limbs. Watch them bounce against buildings.

They fall quiet. They do what the they must tonight.

I stop humming, disoriented in this village.

Confusion is striking on Christmas Eve.

The world, tearing itself apart, tries to break me. A facade


of a quiet birth is miracle enough to have survived outside

this numbing storm. The bare Ginko trees

on Central Avenue are as foreign as Bethlehem tonight.

I hold on to the solid brick of the Russo building

and wait for the snow to pass through the village.

Then there is only the winking of little lights in darkness.


The century turns outside these buildings.

Lit spires of trees in Fredonia

on Christmas Eve, glimmer in winter’s storm and dark.