Over the past several weeks, I have been exposed to, engaged in, or guided a greater variety of meditations than ever before.
Here is one that was gifted to me from the Sufi Tradition. I gently modified a few words and offered it, in turn, during my events for last week’s World Interfaith Harmony Week:
The first breath, the breath of Earth, in through the nose and out through the nose.
Connect to all the Earthy things: soil, rocks, minerals; the solid parts of the world, bark and fur and flesh; your own flesh and bones, because you too are made of Earth.
The second breath, the breath of water, in through the nose and out through the mouth.
Connect to all the fluid things: oceans and rivers, glaciers, falling snow; blood and sap, the water within cells and within bodies, within your own body, because you too are made of water.
The third breath, the breath of fire, in through the mouth and out through the nose, breathing through the heart.
Connect to all the fiery hot things: lightening and lava, sun and stars, the heat in the body, the heat of your deep self, because you too are made of fire.
The fourth breath, the breath of air, in through the mouth and out through the mouth.
Connect to all the things of air: wind in all its forms, from breezes to hurricanes; the breathing of plants, carbon dioxide in and oxygen out; the breathing of animals in exchange, oxygen in and carbon dioxide out; your own breath moving through your lungs, catching your fire, activating your blood, feeding your body, because you too are made of air.
The fifth breath, the ether breath, so subtle it might look like you are not breathing at all, perhaps in and out through the mouth and nose at the same time.
This last breath connects all things: all the elements and all that is more than elemental, the divine spirit moving through the cosmos, moving through the spirits of all - and through your own spirit. Breathe gently, and rest in this interconnection with all beings.
I invite you, too, to explore and broaden your own path to interbeing, interpresence, and a deeper reliance on abidance in the moment of “right now.”
Whatever words you choose – or perhaps you’d rather meditate in silence,
whatever posture your body makes,
from whatever traditions you draw – or from none,
may you reconnect with the inherent goodness and sacredness that is available to us all through the life-sustaining and peace-giving breath – the wondrous gift of air – that comes from our interrelationships as a member of the community of Nature.