Friday, December 2, 2011

Life-Giving Breath

Photo by Joshua Thompson
Spirit is the word Ruah, wind or breath. When God created the world, He spoke it into existence. Speaking requires breath. When God created man, He breathed into him the breath of life. The breath is the life force. When we breathe, it is God's breath flowing through us.

Read that last sentence again.

Incredible! God is near to us, He is even flowing in and out of us. Breath is God's creative, living force moving through us.

I believe breathing is a gift from God, not only for life but for health. Find Here my very short blog about how deep breathing can help us relax and actually bring healing to our body.

To read more about God and breath, following is an excerpt from a blog by a Jewish rabi on the name of God and breathing (there is a link to the entire blog after the excerpt):

"What follows is a brief summary of my approach on the question of pronouncing the "Yod-Hei-Vav-Hei" Name of God that in transliteration comes out "YHWH":
1) It is unpronounceable in my view not because we are forbidden to pronounce it — that understanding is in my view a way of avoiding the deeper truth — but because if one tries to do so, pronouncing these four strange letters (semi-vowels, semi-consonants; linguists call them aspirate consonants) WITHOUT any vowels, one simply breathes.
You might pause to try this yourself: try to say "YHWH" with no vowels. Not "Yahweh" or "Yahovah," but with no vowels at all.
Over the years I have invited thousands of people at synagogues, retreat centers, Hillels, and conferences to explore what happens if they try to do this, and almost everyone who does this experiences either a breath or the wind.
The real Name is BEYOND pronunciation, unless you consider breathing pronunciation.
As the Siddur (prayer-book) says, "Nishmat kol chai tivarech et SHIMCHA." ("The breathing of all life praises your Name.") For the Breathing of all life IS Your Name.
2) The notion of YHWH as "the Breath of Life" accords with a deep sense of God as intimate and transcendent at once. If we have no breath in us, we die. If there is no breath beyond us, we die.
3) Moreover, it makes profound sense for at least one of the real Names of the real God to be not a Hebrew word, nor a word in Egyptian, or Latin, or Greek, or Arabic, or Sanskrit, or English - not in any single language but in all of them, or in some form of expression that both underlies and transcends language: just breathing, which all humans of all peoples do.
4) Still more, Breathing encompasses not only all humans but all life-forms. What the trees breathe out is what we breathe in; what we breathe out is what the trees breathe in. So YHWH as a breathing sound evokes "kol ha'neshama," all breathing beings, and "nefesh chaya," all those in which is the life-breath." excerpt from a blog by Rabbi Arthur Waskow, 4/14/2004

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