4938144-large-quotation-marks  Listen, are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?

~Mary Oliver

Take a breath.  A deep breath.  Hold for a minute, then slowly release.

That is living.  That is life.

We have a tendency to breathe shallowly, and my spiritual director once suggested that breathing shallowly is living shallowly.   In other words, we are just getting by versus truly engaging in the journey.

The Hebrew word ruah has several meanings–breath, wind, spirit.  In Isaiah 42:5, we are reminded that it is God who breathes life into creation, life into us.  In that sense, our breath can serve as another connection to the Beloved as God’s spirit intermingles with ours through prayer.

Breath prayer is a very simple meditative practice that focuses the mind, slows the body, and centers the spirit.  It can be based on scripture or a phrase that is meaningful to you.

On the breath in, reflect on the first part of the phrase.  On the breath out, meditate on the second part of the statement.  As you continue to breathe and pray, feel your body and mind release distraction so that your spirit can connect with God in a deeper place.

Even in a place called life.