The word spirit comes from the Latin word which means “to breathe.” In Hindu, the word to breathe means “to be great.” As we are born, the Great Spirit blows the breath of life into us. It is with us from our first breath to our last.
Breathing is completely ordinary but it can bring us into contact with the vivid and brilliant reality in which we live. It reminds us that we exist right now. The more powerfully we feel this and the more moments we string together, the greater our awareness.
Whenever possible try to create conditions that foster awareness. The more time we are paying attention, the more our spirituality can emerge. Anytime we spend awake and aware is valuable.
Breathing exercise (basic meditation exercise):
- Have a quiet, peaceful place where you can sit comfortably.
- Have something natural nearby such as a window with light or a tree, or a vase of flowers, etc.
- Wear comfortable clothing.
- Keep your back erect but relaxed.
- Keep your ears in alignment with your shoulders.
- Keep your mouth slightly open, breathing in and out.
- Rest your hands in our lap, palms up, one hand cradling the other.
- Allow your chest, lungs, stomach, and abdomen to relax.
- Aim at breathing targets – breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Count your breaths…in one, out one; in two, out two, etc. through 10, then start back at one again.
- Let your thoughts come and go; coming back to the basic breathing again.
Practice a lot of gentleness
Sit there and be gentle with yourself
Let the whole thing be soft.
Breathing out, breathing in.
Relax outward with your breath.
Loosen up, lighten up…just let it be.
- Pema Chodron, A Buddhist Nun
Cite: Losing the Weight of the World: A Spiritual Diet to Nourish the Soul by Jonathan Kramer, and Diane Dunaway Kramer