Breath prayers are an ancient prayer practice dating back over a thousand years. It is as simple as it sounds. It’s a short prayer which can be prayed in the span of a breath. It may be a word or a short phrase. It may be spoken on either the breath in or the breath out or perhaps even both in the case of multiple words or syllables. Today I am inviting you to experiment with this simple practice by joining me in one of my favorite breath prayers.
Some time this morning take a moment to slowly read over the lines below. Take it one word at a time, one breath at a time, one thought or image at a time. If it helps you can warm up with a few deep breaths to center your mind on this moment. After you’ve read the prayer I’ll meet you on the other side.
Which word or phrase stood out to you? Was there a particular breath or image which embraced you like the warmth of a crackling fire? Was there an invitation in one of the words? Maybe you were challenged or convicted by one of the postures. Did one of the phrases feel like coming home to yourself? What ever it was I invite you to dwell in that experience for the rest of this day. Take that word or phrase and breathe it over your life, over the lives of others you encounter, and over the world around you. When the day is over come back for a quick check-in and read the entirety of the prayer again. Let it be the bookend of your day. My prayer for you is that you would breath deep, slow down, and pay attention to this… what ever is in front of you, right here, right now.
May you have the strength to do what love requires and the humility to surrender to whatever human frailty demands.