Spiritual Practices 1

Fr Antunes

The spiritual practices I’ve chosen to include in Spiritual Practices 1 are forgiveness, deep breathing, becoming centered, mindfulness, and serenity. I learned most of these principles through daily meditation.

Early in my recovery which began in 1976, I was deeply influenced by a 13th century monk, Brother Lawrence. His book is titled “Practice in the Presence of God”. I loved the concept of practicing in the presence which told me that I never had to worry about being perfect. That,in fact, I would never graduate on this earth from the practice. What a wonderful gift this 13th century monk gave me. Thank you, Brother Lawrence.

If you, the reader, has other spiritual practices you would like to see included–write your own lenses. You will love the experience and feel a deep sense of joy to be sharing yourself with the world.

To introduce each of the spiritual practices I have chosen, I will be using definitions for each of the spiritual practices from one my favorite amazing resource, Wikipedia.

(1) Deep Breathing

The following definition is from Wikipedia–

“Diaphragmatic breathing, or deep breathing is the act of breathing deep into your lungs by flexing your diaphragm rather than breathing shallowly by flexing your rib cage.

This deep breathing is marked by expansion of the stomach (abdomen) rather than the chest when breathing. It is generally considered a healthier and fuller way to ingest oxygen, and is often used as a therapy for hyperventilation and anxiety disorders.

Performing diaphragmatic breathing can be therapeutic, and with enough practice, can become your standard way of breathing.

To breathe diaphragmatically, or with the diaphragm, one must draw air into the lungs in a way which will expand the stomach and not the chest. It is best to perform these breaths as long, slow intakes of air – allowing the body to absorb all of the inhaled oxygen while simultaneously relaxing the breather. To do this comfortably, it is often best to loosen tight-fitting pants/belts/skirts as these can interfere with the body’s ability to intake air.

While at first one may not feel comfortable not expanding the chest during breathing, diaphragmatic breathing actually fills up the majority of the lungs with oxygen, much more than chest-breathing or shallow breathing.

According to http://www.swamij.com/diaphragmatic-breathing.htm, in diaphragmatic breathing abdomen does NOT move.”

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