Breathing in, I center myself
Breathing out, I feel free
“Today is my day to dance lightly with life,
sing wild songs of adventure,
invite rainbows & butterflies out to play,
soar my spirit, and unfurl my joy.”
—Jonathan Lockwood Huie
“Who has seen the wind? Neither you nor I but when the trees bow down their heads, the wind is passing by.”—Christina Rossetti
“By bringing nature into our lives, we invite humility.”–Richard Louv
“Thank you” is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding. -Alice Walker
“Humility, that low, sweet root, from which all heavenly virtues shoot.”—Thomas Moore
“All life has emptiness at its core; it is the quiet hollow reed through which the wind of God blows and makes the music that is our life. Without that emptiness, we are clogged and unable to give birth to music, love, or kindness. All creation springs from emptiness: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void…”
-WayneMuller, “Sabbath, Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives”, p.51
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”—Luke 23:42
“and gave thanks to God for it [the bread]. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.””—Corinthians 11:24
I am thinking that every object in the universe is pervaded by Christ consciousness. Perhaps, Jesus meant, when you look at bread (or any food), remember that I am in it, the whole cosmos is in it: the air, the rain, the sunshine, the earth. I am with you. Looking ahead, Jesus knew he was going to die soon, and maybe this thought of remembering him in the bread was a way to comfort the disciples that he is still with them in Spirit whenever they ate. It was to bring awareness.
“When I hold a piece of bread, I look at it, and sometimes I smile at it. The piece of bread is an ambassador of the cosmos offering nourishment and support. Looking deeply into the piece of bread, I see the sunshine, the clouds, the great earth. Without the sunshine, no wheat can grow. Without the clouds, there is no rain for the wheat to grow. Without the great earth, nothing can grow. That is why the piece of bread that I hold in my hand is a wonder of life. It is there for all of us. We have to be therefore it.”—Thich Nhat Hanh
“A cloud never dies.”—Thich Nhat Hanh
“Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,
what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.
In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.
And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.”
–Rainer Maria Rilke, “Sonnets to Orpheus”
One refuge, anchor, can be our breath. It is with us no matter where we are, no matter what our emotional state is. The Spirit of God is in our breath. It is a gift. Our breath is a sign that God is with us. Thich Nhat Hanh suggests watching the breath from a point 2 fingerwidths below the navel, and even putting our hands at that point to make it easier to focus. Just watch the breath without trying to control it. Feel your hands moving outwards as you breathe in and back in again with each out breath. After some time, you will feel calmer as your breath naturally slows down. You will be more calm than when you were overcome with upsetting feelings and emotions.
Thich Nhat Hanh also suggests you can invite the Jesus in you to breathe for you. Then you can watch Jesus breathing in you, you can bring awareness to God’s presence in you. After witnessing the breath for some time, it will automatically slow down, and the mind will be calmer.
by looking deeply
into our sorrows and challenges
as a witness, as from above
it is possible
to transform our weaknesses into strengths
our wounds into jewels
by God’s grace
by God’s mercy
through Holy Spirit