Slowing down, being present in the silence, even hearing silence – it’s all about catching our breath, being attentive to our breath…remembering to breathe. In Hebrew and Greek, the word for “breath” is the same word as for “spirit” and “wind.” The depth of this term lifts up a connection between the three words – between our breath and the Spirit of God in the world, between the wind that changes things, bringing rain and chasing off storms and the breath of God that creates man and woman in the Genesis garden story. The library of the Bible starts with the story of creation, when this divine breath, Holy Spirit, untamable wind is hovering over the primordial waters from which life is sprung. It’s hard to miss in that text, but oh so easy to in our daily lives.
Pause today for a breath prayer. You’ll breath and out 10 times. Not simple, quick gasps; but deep breaths that go down into your abdomen, and lift your entire chest cavity. Do it slow. As you do it listen to the sound that’s made with your breath in and out .. does it sound like wind? does it sound like a spirit hovering? Do it ten times. In the repetition of the practice what do you hear?; feel?; imagine? How do you feel after the breathing as opposed to before? How does it change your outlook on the day, other people and yourself, to imagine the breath of God, the Holy Spirit, this untamable creative wind within you?; inspiring you?; leading you?; recreating you?