Background: A certain phrase paired with an exhale has a slightly different feel than that same phrase paired with an inhale. When we have a 3 phrase cycle, one approach is to simply rotate through all 3 sentences. The result of this is that each phrase gets connected to both inhales and exhales. We can experience, therefore, what those phrases are like.
In the exercises that follow, I have chosen two of my favorite 3-sentence cycles. They are rather Christo-centric. You can, of course, replace them with something more to your liking.
- Place your feet flat on the floor.
- Breathe a cleansing breath.
- With your next inhale, say “Christ was born”
- With your next exhale, “Christ has died.”
- With your next inhale, “Christ will come again.”
- Continue this pattern, working your way through the entire cycle: Christ was born/ Christ has died/ Christ will come again.
- When you are ready, release the phrases.
- Wordlessly, enjoy some time with God.
Spend some time, when your practice is done, considering the omnipresence of God. God is here and not here; present and not-yet.
Background: Breath does not have to be a 2-part process. We can create a 3-count in our breath by pausing for a moment; holding the breath as we consider a phrase.
Holding the breath is an interesting thing. It creates, in me, a distant and deeply submerged sort-of terror. Simultaneously, it is also like a micro-fast. Breathing, like eating, is a requirement. To abstain for a time from either one is to confront our physical limitations and our animal nature.
I suspect that some of this emotional intensity rubs itself off on to the feelings associated with the phrases.
- Find a bit of calm. Place your feet flat on the floor. Breathe slowly.
- With your next inhale, think “Here I am, God.”
- As you exhale, think, “Here you are God.”
- Holding your breath, think, “Here we are, together.”
- Repeat the process: With the inhale, “Here I am God.” With the exhale: “Here you are God.” Holding the Breath, “Here we are, together.”
- Give most of the time in your practice today to these 3 steps.
- When you are ready, release these words. Resume a normal 2-part breathing pattern with out holding the breath.
Through out your day, know that you are here, and God is here, and you are here, together.
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