Is Breathing a Spiritual Practice?

by Christine Sine

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?

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