Practice: The YHWH Prayer
“A rabbi taught this prayer to me many years ago. The Jews did not speak God’s name, but breathed it with an open mouth and throat: inhale—Yah; exhale—weh. By our very breathing we are speaking the name of God and participating in God’s breath. This is our first and our last word as we enter and leave the world.
Breathe the syllables with open mouth and lips, relaxed tongue:
During a period of meditation, perhaps twenty minutes, use this breath as a touchstone. Begin by connecting with your desire to be present to God. Breathe naturally, slowly, and deeply, inhaling and exhaling Yah-weh. Let your focus on the syllables soften and fall away into silence. If a thought, emotion, or sensation arises, observe but don’t latch on to it. Simply return to breathing.”
Richard Rohr, Daily Meditations, February 11, 2017
The Indian Jesuit priest, Anthony de Mello, is another who spoke and wrote about connecting to our breathe, being aware of our breathe. This spiritual exercise can be done in periods of contemplation or in short bursts, waiting in traffic, waiting in line at the grocery store, dressing our children, walking down the hall, waiting for a meeting. De Mello writes in his first published collection of Christian spiritual practices integrated with eastern contemplation, Sadhana- A way to God, that being aware of our breathe is connecting us to our body, which grounds us. Most of us live in our head which, for me, so often is not connected to the body. Our head talks to us about the past and the future. Being grounded in the body connects us to the present, and that is where C S Lewis as well as so many others believed that God most often meets us, in the present moment.