Do we remember that our religious story begins with God's breath?
God, at the beginning of time, created heaven and earth. Earth was still an empty waste and darkness hung over the deep; but already, over its waters, stirred the breath of God. Genesis 1:2)
And the end of our Gospel has the Risen Jesus echoing that creation scene.
Late that Sunday evening, when the disciples were together behind locked doors, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them, "Peace be with you!" he said, and then showed them his hands and his side. So when the disciples saw the Lord, they were filled with joy, Jesus repeated, "Peace be with you!", and then said, "As the Father sent me, so I send you." He then breathed on them, saying, "Receive the Holy Spirit!" (John 10:19-21)
For a religion that brackets itself with divine breath, we might pay more attention to our own breathing. Many of us don't know what breathing deeply is: perhaps we're out of shape and we get winded quickly. Or we've compromised our breathing with cigarettes. Or over the years we've developed the habit of only shallow breathing, and we never fill our lungs.
Here's a little exercise to begin breathing deeply. Inhale counting to 8. Then hold the breath for the count of 8. Then exhale counting to 8. Do this for four to eight cycles. Each day.
But there is more to our breathing than just that. Here is my gatha that highlights the more of even one breath and how that breath might be an antioxidant to hate.
Did I just inhale the breath of saints?
Then I'm glad!
But if the breath of haters,
then I exhale it transformed
into peace and love.