There is no act more fundamental than breathing… And in a sense, all forms of meditation, contemplation, and prayer, are breathing practices.
However, there are certain practices which place the breath front-and-center. For the purposes of The Faith-ing Project, these practices which explictly focus on the breath will be considered breathing practices.
On this page, you find an overview of the importance of breath, as well as a breakdown of a wide variety of breathing practices. Each of these descriptions features a link that will take you to an example of this practice.
On the importance of Breath
Physically, of course, breathing is a requirement. Despite this, it can seem a little surprising just how often the importance of the breath comes up.
Many languages use related words for ‘Spirit’ and ‘Breath.’ Major religious traditions including the Islamic, the Indigenous Ha wain, and the Judaeo-Christian have words for God that are related to the act of breathing. And, of course, the Genesis Creation Myth tells us that God reached down into the Earth, breathed into it, and created the first man.
Types of Breathing Practice
If you would like to explore a practice related to the act of breathing as a pronouncement of God’s name, click here.
If you would like to explore a practice related to the image of God breathing into the Earth to create the first human, click here.
Often, in our contemplative practices, we are carefully considering a sentence or phrase. The way we use our breath sets the rhythm for how we meditate on this phrase. To see a more thorough exploration of this concept, and a list of practices to choose from, click here.
Finally, breath can be used as a mantra to dismiss intrusive thoughts. To explore this practice, click here.
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