Maria-Hélèna Pacelli

Sneezing is believing

So often we rely on our senses to access reality in a way that locates reality outside ourselves. But what happens when we look within and observe reality from the outside, looking in?

Today I had another one of my epic sneezing cascades, where one sneeze leads to the next and I keep going dozens of time. With each one I took a moment to go deeper within my body. I never thought sneezing could be such a deeply transcending experience and usually try to simply withold the impulse, resist the need to sneeze and want it to be over as swiftly as possible.

An entirely different experiences arises when I set aside my resistance long enough to explore this sneezing fit from a different perspective. Through this I learned what I had always been missing out on every time I sneeze without honouring this simple bodily function with all the attention it deserves.

It only takes a brief fraction of a second to pay full attention to a sneeze. In that brief second an entire universe is born and dies. My whole body expands and contracts, becomes effortlessly filled with breath of life and, if I allow complete surrender to the experience, will release itself from anything that no longer serves its direction to grow.

What else have I been missing out on in life, if I cannot call my attention on something so simple, but so blissful as a sneeze? What else am I not paying attention to in this very moment that could yield a surreal experience of embodiment? More importantly, what is required to gain it back?

Much like many things that beg for our attention in life, a sneeze is unintentional, effortless, an imperative calling to breathe and release. Having had the opportunity to observe my breath and my capacity to release so fully, what else might I glimpse of the universe’s infinite wisdom if I continue to breath in attentively and allow myself to let go on every exhale..?

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