Two of the most important aspects of my mystic’s journey have been the words of St. John of the Cross and the idea of God’s breath.
St. John of the Cross said, “The soul that is united and transformed in God breathes God in God with the same divine breathing, with which God, while in her, breathes her in himself.” I am not really sure how it works. But I think it’s something like this:
1. Take three deep and cleansing breaths.
2. Begin with the knowledge that your soul is breathing the very substance of God.
3. Inhale the very material that forms God.
4. Exhale the very stuff that forms God.
5. Repeat these breaths two more times.
6. As you hold this knowledge that the soul is breathing God into you, know that you are surrounded by God.
7. Inhale, knowing that you are in God just as a fish is in the sea.
8. Exhale, knowing that you are in God just as a fish is in the sea.
9. Repeat steps seven and eight two more times.
10. For three breaths, hold both sides of that equation: You are in God. God is in you.
11. Now, know that God breathes. The God outside of you breathes.
12. Inhale, knowing that God breathes just like that.
13. Exhale, knowing that God breathes just like that.
14. Repeat steps 12 and 13, two more times.
15. With your next inhalation, visualize, again, how you breathe in God.
16. With your next exhalation, visualize, again, how you breathe out the very stuff of God.
17. Now, know that just as you breathe in God, God-outside-of-you is breathing in the very stuff of you.
18. Exhale God, knowing that God-outside-of-you-exhales you.
19. Repeat steps 17 and 18 two more times.
20. Recall that God is within you, breathing as you inhale.
21. Recall that God is within you, breathing, as you exhale.
22. Now, impossibly, paradoxically, and perfectly: God-within-you… breathes in the very stuff you are made of. Inhale with this truth.
23. Impossibly, paradoxically, perfectly: God-within-you…. breathes out the very stuff you are made of. Exhale this truth.
24. Repeat any portion of this progression. Or release the words entirely.