Jai-Jagdeesh: The Breath, and the Meaning of Life

jj12_ohae_pr2_laughWhat does it mean, to be alive? To live, to experience life? Why on Earth are we here on Earth? What are we to do and be?

Some have said the purpose of life is to serve, with which I agree. Some have said it’s to learn and grow, to evolve, with which I definitely agree. Some have said it’s to connect, with which I also agree. And many have said it’s to love. With which I strongly agree.

There is one thing, though, that encompasses all these suppositions, and that is “to let go” — which, for me, is the hardest effing thing in the world, and I’m more than a little heartbroken to discover it just might be the root reason for the human experience.

As a Virgo, I am finely attuned to the suckyness of certain types of letting go, such as the relinquishing of control (illusory though that control may be in the first place), the loss of any kind of detailed organization as life gets more complex (which it has and does and will continue to do, alas…), and the recognition of my absolutely inescapable humanness.

That last one was particularly hard for me. For a while, I had a bit of a Wonder Woman complex; I thought I could create, manage, fix, handle, and BE everything. But no, no, that’s a surefire recipe for workaholism. And martyrdom. And constant, consistent disappointment in one’s Self. Which is spectacularly counterproductive, innit?

But I digress:

The deepest forms of surrender are the ones of which I speak when I say that “to let go” is why we’re here.

Because… It is in letting go of certain types of boundaries that we become more able to connect with one another.

It is in letting go of grief, sorrow, anger, and fear that we grow, evolving into clearer, stronger, wiser versions of our Selves.

It is in letting go of entitlement that we become more able to serve.

And it is in untying our strings that we are able to let loose the flood of love that lives within us, aching, aching, aching to be given & shared.

So my new question becomes: “How?” How to do all this releasing, relinquishing, letting go?

Easy: The breath.

Approximately 17,000 times a day, we breathe in and out (more when we’re exercising, and MUCH more at the start of life; according to, toddlers breathe about 20-30 times per minute), and, for the most part, we do so without thinking about it. We forget that we’re creating and destroying and moving and stimulating and nourishing and pushing and pulling (and and and and!…) with each and every breath. It’s powerful, this breath, this balanced life force of prana (ingoing energy) and apana (outgoing energy). It is grounding. It is strengthening. It is purifying, clarifying, and healing. It soothes, enables, and empowers us.

It is gold.

Many people have forgotten how to breathe — or, more accurately, forgotten how to USE the breath, and that it CAN & SHOULD be used as a tool for moving through all the trauma and challenge of the human experience. Not just that: a tool for living FULLY present, FULLY engaged, FULLY connected.

Imagine what would happen if classrooms, boardrooms, senate offices, and community gatherings all began their sessions with a few moments of conscious breathing. How would we talk to one another? What ideas and solutions might we brainstorm together?

Is it possible that we’d love and respect ourselves — and each other — more as a result of breathing a little deeper?

Or that we’d better understand one another’s motives and messages as a result of being so well oxygenated?

Only one thing will tell: Giving it a shot.


~Jai-Jagdeesh‘s journey as a singer began over 20 years ago, in a temple in India, and the soundcurrent continued all through her childhood. Between then and now, her creative spirit has walked many artistic paths: actress, classical Indian dancer, photographer and writer. Music returned to the forefront in 2011 with the release of her debut album, ‘I Am Thine‘. Her second full-length album, ‘Of Heaven & Earth‘, shot to #6 on the Billboard New Age chart within weeks of its release. Her two meditation albums, ‘The Expansive Spirit‘ (2012) and ‘Miracles Abound‘ (2015) are beloved by yogis and yoga teachers around the globe. Jai-Jagdeesh continues to record (a new album is slated for release in October of 2017), perform, and express her heart’s deepest creativity. She is completely devoted to sharing these sacred sounds, and sings them from the center of her heart. With humility, grace and kindness, she brings a bit of dance and lot of love to the world of kirtan.

Excellence Reporter 2017 Copyright © Jai-Jagdeesh

Categories: Music

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