Introduction ~ This week we wrap up a devotional series on slowing it down. The hoped for outcome is that people will adopt a practice, in addition to their yoga practice that lives off the mat and serves them in the busy season ahead. The first devotion was about lingering over a meal to enhance relationships. Last week it was about pausing when we walk to see God’s abundance all around us and this weeks devotion is about sitting. When we sit intentionally, we sift through our thoughts, discarding thoughts that don’t serve us any longer, and soon find we have created sacred space to BE with God.
The Scripture ~You who sit down in the High God’s presence, spend the night in Shaddai’s (one name for God in the Hebrew bible) shadow, Say this: “God, you’re my refuge. I trust in you and I’m safe!”
Psalm 91: 1-2 The Message
The Spiritual Focus ~ “When the Buddha was asked, “Sir, what do you and your monks practice?” he replied, “We sit, we walk, and we eat.” The questioner continued, “But sir, everyone sits, walks, and eats,” and the Buddha told him, “When we sit, we know we are sitting. When we walk, we know we are walking. When we eat, we know we are eating.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
The Breath Prayer ~ Inhale – God is my refuge, Exhale – In God I trust
The Devotion ~ In our last devotion in our devotional series on Slowing it Down, we consider setting aside a time to sit and BE present. Fr. Richard Rohr has a practice that he does and encourages others to do when they attend his “Living School” in New Mexico. The practice is called the 20 minute sit. He finds, as do other’s, when he practices the sit, he is able to sift thoughts that are not needed in the present moment, if at all and BE present with God. Interestingly, while he talks about breath, he doesn’t offer a specific practice of pranayama (yoga breath techniques) he simply says practice sitting for 20 minutes a day and see what happens.
One of the folks from the Italy group traveled on after the rest of us returned home and had several stunning God moments during a “sit.” One of those moments happened when sitting in St. Anthony’s cathedral, with names of those who prayed to be healed by St. Anthony posted in the area surrounding them. As she gazed at the wall of names she was overwhelmed with a sense of Presence. Both our friend and the trip leader had an experience of Presence, sitting in that space, that they could not explain.
Nov. 1st is All Saints Day, a day to remember the people who have been important in our life, who have transitioned to another life, ahead of us. Perhaps one way to integrate our faith and yoga practice of slowing it down is to pick our 3 favorite poses, using a brief asana practice to settle our body so we can sit. Then just …sit…for 20 minutes….suspend all expectations and just BE.