Mindful exercises build our capacity to meet the demands of everyday life through clear awareness and ease.  When we embrace them and use them in some way every day, they may also lead to a deepening one’s spiritual life.

Instructions:

Today I’d like for us to reflect on some thoughts from mindfulness instructor, Marlene Wine-Chase.  Allow yourself some uninterrupted time (Stable Attention) to read her entry below and then “sit with it” for a few minutes. Notice any thoughts or feelings you have in response to what you read, noting and letting them pass as they appear (Open Attention).  Can you visualize what she is describing and bring it into your day (Vivid Attention)?

I learned a while back that the Hebrew word, ruah, can mean both “breath” and “spirit”.  I found it inspiring to think that with each breath, I was participating in Spirit, in the sacred realm.  For me it adds another layer of meaning to the mindful breathing we are learning via MeWe Mindfulness.

This idea was deepened for me through a chapter in a book by Catholic priest, Richard Rohr (The Naked Now).  Father Rohr writes that the Jewish revelation of the name of God is now written and pronounced as “Yahweh.”  But originally it was considered a literally unspeakable word.  This fit with one of their Ten Commandments, “Do not speak the name of God in vain.”  Rohr goes on to say, “This unspeakability has long been recognized, but we now know it goes even deeper:  formally the word was not spoken at all, but breathed!  Many are convinced that its correct pronunciation is an attempt to replicate and imitate the very sound of inhalation and exhalation.  The one thing we do every moment of our lives is therefore to speak the name of God. . . . When considered in this way, God is suddenly as available and accessible as the very thing we all do constantly – breathe.”

When Maria uses the words “Mindful Breathing:  Return and Rest”, it is a wonderful reMINDer of all of this.  We return to our Source, however we name it – that sacred dimension larger than our everyday self – and rest.  We can rest in this larger context.  One day we may experience it as the energy that flows through all of life; another day we may sense it as everlasting arms.  But it is, in every moment, what is happening:  We are breathing.  We are Returning and Resting.  How helpful it is to practice being mindful of this!  - Marlene Wine-Chase

© Copyright 2013 Maria Hunt and Marlene Wine-Chase
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