We can bear witness to the Love that unifies our world.
I do Yoga. This week in Yoga, my teacher, Maria taught meditation, and explained that awareness of the breath of life entering and leaving our bodies each moment makes us mindful, makes us witnesses. Immediately my attention popped up, wow, just like the Shema, the Jewish prayer of God’s One-ness, in which the two enlarged letters spell out “witness” But what does our breath have to do with the Unity of the Universe? This oxygen we breathe in, is created by photosynthesis of plants, algae and some microbes from splitting water molecules, they breathe us into existence (R’ Arthur Waskow’s phrasing) and we exhale Carbon dioxide, breathing them into existence. The oxygen itself was forged in the stardust (supernova) that created all the elements heavier than hydrogen that we’re made up of- another unifying force. And it’s through oxygen that we can capture our life’s energy, a unifying of our material and energy needs.
Listen, breathe, be a witness to the wonder of it all, then use that energy to correct all that’s not wonder-ful, that needs fixing. But it begins by quieting the mind and soul, listening to our breath, our heart beating in rhythm, to nature’s rhythms, and then, having the courage and strength to listen to the discord which threatens the harmony.
A morning prayer which I wrote for DLTI this past February begins with a verse from Hafiz, the medieval poet. I was honored that Hazzan Jack Kessler played the melody on cello so beautifully to begin this Shacharit Sunday morning service.
Awake my dear, be kind to your sleeping heart (2x) (to listen on soundcloud)
Take it out into the vast fields of light (!) (2x)
and let it breathe
Baruch ata Adonai Elohenu, Ruach ha-olam
I am grateful for this body’s life, for it’s wonderous workings
For my time
I am grateful for the breath I take, for inspiration
Now I am awake
For the thrumming of my heartstrings,
Resonating with all life
For You I sing!