I got this picture (You’ll have to click to see it.) from International Applied Meditation — the people who taught me to breathe every morning for twenty minutes. It’s the standard stress curve. I was interested in it because I have just gone through one of the worst stressors — the death of my mother. The article said that breathing, meditation, consciousness of the presence of God raise a persons ability to deal with stress, so much so that there is a new stress curve for these people.
Would you have imagined that breathing would be so powerful! When I went to their seminar I was amazed. They showed us case study after case study where people had turned their lives and their health around just by breathing for twenty minutes a day. You sit feet flat on floor, back straight and breathe in for seven heartbeats or seconds (if you can’t hear your heartbeat) and then breathe out for seven heartbeats or seconds.
It sounds easy but it isn’t. Simple, yes, but we are so accustomed to going around as whirling dirvishes that to take the time to be quiet and breathe sounds impossible, maybe even crazy. In the beginning it can feel like that.
But when you look at it from another perspective, it could be that just being quiet enough to breathe and get centered and sit in God’s presence is what is most needed. Anyway, that is what Jesus said, “Only one thing is necessary.”
And he said it to his friend Martha about her sister Mary who was sitting and listening to Jesus. Then as Mary is feeling just a bit guilty for not helping her sister, she hears, “Mary has chosen what is better, and it won’t be taken away from her.” She must have been surprised. But I can imagine how good she felt. The one who was always getting into trouble, had a penchant for doing the wrong thing, was exonerated for once in her life!
Those words, that feeling, are available to everyone of us who choose that. But it might not come the first, second, or third time you try it. And yes, getting up ten minutes earlier to start it is a good plan, and pays dividends. Is there anything more important than being in God’s presence?