Soul Sculpting Project: Three Breaths to Connect

Soul Sculpting Project: Three Breaths to Connect

I am on a walk. My mind is processing yesterday and planning tomorrow. I take a breath and wake-up to the present. I notice the juniper trees, the canyon rock, cool fresh air, the deep quiet. I begin to notice myself and feel my feet pressing the solid ground. I take a second breath and remember the unseen present. God is here, right here. Beyond my understanding, but real. I take a third breath and reach out for connection with God.p1010028-1.jpg

Welcome to our second week of Lenten Soul Sculpting. Last we created a Fixed-moment to make our connection with God. This week we’ll use the tools of present moment awareness and breath to help us build this connection in our fixed-moment.

The Present

The present moment is the time we can best encounter God. ‘I Am’, – present tense – is the name God claimed. (Exodus 3:13-14)  Archbishop Anthony Bloom sees ‘establishing ourselves in the present’ as a necessary step in prayer.

Awareness of the present moment also promotes our health and well-being. Studies find that when we are in the present we are happier and more skilled at dealing with life’s challenges. Present moment awareness practices are linked to long-term stress reduction.

Breath

Using our breath to connect to God is a method employed by historic and current Christians.

The first written record of using breath to aid prayer is from John Climacus, (c.579-649). A thousand years later Ignatius of Loyola (c. 1491-1556) was still recommending breath to assist prayer. The Eastern Orthodox use breath in practicing the Jesus Prayer and I find breath a key tool for practicing Centering Prayer.

How we breathe has a profound impact on our mind and body. Breath is a key medicine on the shelves of our internal God-made pharmacy. Intentional breathing methods impact our body (heart, hormones, nervous system, etc. . .), our mind, and our emotions. Today we will use breath to help turn on our parasympathetic (at-ease) system.

Connection

In this week’s prayer we are seeking connection with God. Like any love relationship, we are making a bid for connection.

What might this connection with God look like? Extraordinary visions? I never rule that out, but the connection may also come with quiet inner words or a silent Presence.

  • Our job is to make the bid for connection.
  • It is God’s job to respond.

The response may come instantly or may be delayed. So stay alert, be on the look-out for God’s response.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Soul Sculpting Project: Three Breaths to Connect

In your fixed-moment of prayer:

  1. Take breath #1 and wake-up to the present. Notice your surroundings, yourself.
  2. Take breath #2 and remember that God is right here, right now.
  3. Take breath #3 and ask God for connection.

The project has now concluded, but keep your eyes open for God’s answer.

I am sitting at my desk, writing. My mind is filled with words and concepts. I take a breath and notice fast moving gray clouds, patches of snow on the hillside, my sitting body longing to stand. I stand up and take another breath. I remind myself, ‘God is here, right here, with me’. I take a third breath and look to God for connection.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Handy Vocab List

Omnipresent: The quality of being present everywhere. Constantly encountered.
God is omnipresent. God can be encountered, right here, right now.
Present: The period of time now occurring.
Connect: To bring together or into contact so that a real link is established.
Breathe: To take air into the lungs and then expel it.

Project goals:

  • Deepen our ability to connect with God
  • Increase our ability to thrive
  • Our thriving will in turn increase the thriving of those around us.
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