Messages of Hope

What if breathing is sacramental?

Published / by Jana

What if the most sacred thing we do is to con-spire…breathe with…each other. What if con-spiracy is especially hallowed in the shadow of grief, when breathing together is lost and yet the communion continues in ways far too mysterious to understand via even this most fundamental sacrament.

This sacrament doesn’t even require we do so much as open our mouths (unless you have trouble breathing through your nose). Our connectivity precedes our communication, which relieves a lot of pressure to say and do either many things or the “right” thing. As in the practice of meditation, if we bring our awareness back to our breath, fear subsides and is replaced by peace, empowering us to be filled with grace and guided by truth.

Conspiracy for and with invites awareness of the absoluteness of the common ground forged by breath. All living things breathe. My air is your air is my air is our air.

But there is a further, more radical edge to con-spiracy. Like breathing itself, with inhale and exhale, there are two aspects to the sacrament. If we breathe in unity, we breathe out diversity. There is an immediate dual awareness to the act of breathing. In breathing alongside others we notice that not only is breath where unity begins, but also it is where unity ends. Breathing is holy not just because all living things do it, but because all living things do it uniquely.

To conspire for and with, rather than against, is to be able to hold all of this together at once in the way breathing consists of both inhalation and exhalation.

Maybe we practice the sacrament of breath – we host the holy spirit, we celebrate Pentecost – when we allow ourselves to conspire…to breathe together, alongside one another in ways that honour not only our essential unity but also our equally essential diversity.

Conspiracy for and with; breathing together the truth of our unity and our diversity. This is our Pentecost spiritual practice. We practice in order that we might more fully embody our dream that one day compassion and solidarity will be like breathing to humanity: as automatic as they are essential.

posted 19 Jun 2014 by Jana