Is Breathing a Spiritual Practice?

The breathing prayer that I posted yesterday has raised quite a bit of interest.  It always fascinates me to see how all of us love prayers like this that invite us into a regular and relaxed rhythm .  That shouldn’t surprise me because the research I did for my book Godspace made me aware of the fact that any rhythmic activity can have a relaxing and soothing effect on us.

Connecting activities like this to our faith definitely help us to centre our thoughts and our actions on God and God which means that any activity that has a rhythmic motion to it can become a spiritual practice.  No wonder many of us find that knitting, quilting, sewing, woodwork, gardening and running are places where we meet God.  Evidently even sweeping the floor can have this kind of an impact. The soothing rhythms of these activities enable us to focus our thoughts more fully on the God we love and worship.  I find that repeating short repetitive prayers or short verses of scripture while performing these activities enhances that sense of closeness to God.

This is probably one of the reasons that so many of us find music and singing to be such wonderful ways to connect to God.  It is not just the words but the rhythm of the music too that contributes to our worship.  The fact that we sing out loud and often together with others also evidently enhances our connectedness both to each other and to God

What is your experience of rhythmic activities like this in your faith journey?  How do they connect you to God and how could you enhance that sense of connectedness?


10 Responses

  1. At the Emerging Church Conference in Albuquerque, Richard Rohr talked about breathing YHWH as a way of saying the name of God.

    Yoh – Breathe in
    Hey – Breathe out
    Hah – Breathe in
    Veh – Breathe out

    It was one of the more profound moments for me.

  2. Jonathan,
    I love this. Thanks for sharing it

  3. […] Breathing as Spiritual Practice […]

  4. i think its meant to be:

  5. Hello all,

    The idea of the “everyday” being more connected to God than the so-called spiritual really resonates with me. The most pedestrian of things – washing the dishes – is often a place where I meet God. I never thought about it being a “rhythmic activity”, but on reflection, it kind of is. I think for me it is the fact that I am moving, doing something but my mind is free to wander. I love having that space, & I find I’m not “trying” to be spiritual or connect with God – I’m just free to do it!

  6. When making love I feel very spiritual. But the idea of any “rhythmic activity” being a spiritual activity is very arousing. As I’m a lyricist and very into music, dance is also a great spiritual activity. I’m going to be observant of daily places where rhythms connect me to the LifeSpirit. Thanks for the insight.

  7. […] Is Breathing a Spiritual Practice […]

  8. […] Is Breathing a Spiritual Practice – Christine Sine […]

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