Saturday, October 27, 2012

Prayer is breathing
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Picture: Prayer. Young boy says his prayers. Just breathe. Prayer is breathing.


When you breathe
You don't say:

"I will inhale this molecule
Of air here
And that molecule
Of air there,
But under no circumstances
Will I inhale that molecule
Of air over there
On the left
Of the water cooler ....

Because that molecule
Of air over there
Is a molecule of neon
And I don't fancy
Inhaling neon
Because neon is an inert gas
And it will not contribute positively
To my respiration ....

And, anyway,
Neon is used to make flashy red lights
In Las Vegas
Which waste electricity
And therefore
Contribute to the gambling
Of greenhouse gases."

You don't say that.

You would be using
The word "molecule" incorrectly
If you said that.  

Picture: Prayer. Woman with flowers in her hair goes outdoors to pray.
And here is something else
You don't say.


You don't say:
"I don't want –
In this particular breath –
To inhale that
Particular methane molecule
Six inches above the shredder.
I don't want that
Particular methane molecule
Mixed up with my oxygen,
Thank you very much,
Because that
Particular methane molecule
Came out of the bum of a goat
In New Zealand."

You don't say that.

Only a dumbo would say that,
Or maybe
A dipstick with attitude
Might ventilate
A similar circumlocution,
If pressed.

But you don't say it.

From the goat's point of view,
A statement such as that
Could be perceived as
Unfair discrimination
Between gases,
And bummist to boot.

So you don't say it.  

Picture: Prayer. Man breathing outdoors. Prayer is breathing.
What you do actually say is:
"Don't say anything,
Just breathe ....

Just inhale the full,
Of the universe
Without judgement ....

Inflate your lungs fully
And accept the fresh air,
The whole lot,
In trust,
And stop being so silly."

That's what you say.

You don't
Say it out loud
And you don't
Articulate it consciously,
But that is what
Your vital being says.

The real you inside
Simply breathes
Without judgement
Because it is that trust
In benevolence
Which sustains
The internal essence
Of your present becoming

You know this intuitively:
Breathing is more
Than an expedient exchange of gases
For physical functioning.

Breathing is prayer;
Just do it.

Do it.

But do it better and do it more.
Breathe more deeply.
And breathe more slowly.

Switch off your brain,
Cut the crap,
Flush the religious obfuscation
Down the tubes
And do it.


It's the spiritual economy,



Is prayer a waste of time?

What is the function of religion?

More Norfolk koans

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Picture: Prayer. Woman stretching and breathing outdoors. Prayer is breathing.


vera said...

(Ever seen 'Jurassic Park'?)

Prayer is suspension within amber light.

the w0nd3r said...

Dear Alcuin, I love this post. "prayer is breathing" is just inspired. I have just posted a piece on conscious breathing on my blog ( which features a picture I found in Google images. The image linked back to your blog so I have credited your good self and put a link to your blog with it. I hope this is cool with you but please let me know. Many thanks, David