July 20: Breath

“The God who made the world and everything in it,
he who is Lord of heaven and earth,
does not live in shrines made by human hands,
nor is he served by human hands,
as though he needed anything,
since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things.”
from Acts 17:16-31

In . . . . out.      In . . . . out.      Inhale . . . . exhale.

Breath is the marker of life itself. A newborn sucks in its first breath. An elder sighs his last breath.

Biblical writers believed that the divine breath, breathed into Adam and Eve, indwells the soul, mind, and body. Each of these are expressions of the divine Spirit.

To breathe is literally “to inspire.” The original meaning of the word inspire is “to breathe or blow upon or into; to infuse life by breathing.” Our very life is a series of “inspires” and “expires,” without a pause. Does that inspire you?

The role of breath in meditation is supremely important. Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese monk and global spiritual leader, reveals, “When you breathe mindfully, that is mindfulness of breathing. Mindfulness of breathing in allows your self to be established in the here and the now. The here and the now is the very address of life.”

Perhaps most of us take the miracle of breath for granted. Unless we intentionally focus upon our breathing, we simply don’t even think about it. The miracle keeps on happening, while we’re awake and while we’re asleep. We aren’t doing it.

Life is breathing us.

by Helen Nolte
Photo Credit: “Embrace Hands,” sculpture by Matthew Schultz and the Pier Group,
photo by Kaitlin Godbey

As you go about your day, keep your eyes open.
What does “Breath” look like to you? 
Post your picture with #reno150 on any social media site.

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