Friday, September 09, 2011

Breathing in The Naked Now (of 9.11)

With the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 falling on a Sunday, I groaned to think about the mash-up of church and state that might be happening all across the nation and world this weekend.  I happened to pick up a book recommended by both my friends Jaysen and Anne (Lamott that is, melding in reference the real, Jaysen, and the literary dream-friend).  Opening The Naked Now to chapter two, I read about the unspeakability of the Jewish revelation of the name of God.  "For those speaking Hebrew," Richard Rohr writes, it [Yahweh] was the Sacred Tetragrammaton YHVH. ...

"This unspeakability has long been recognized, but now we know it goes even deeper: formally the word was not spoken at all but breathed! Many are convinced that its correct pronunciation is an attempt to replicate and imitate the very sound of inhalation and exhalation."

Hmm.  Reminds me of my growing understanding of yoga and the sound of OM.

Rohr continues, "The one thing we do every moment of our lives is therefore to speak the name of God.  This makes it our first and our last word as we enter and leave the world.

"...I remind people that there is no Islamic, Christian, or Jewish way of breathing.  There is no American, African, or Asian way of breathing.  There is no rich or poor way of breathing.  The playing field is utterly leveled.  The air of the earth is one and and the same air, and this divine wind 'blows where it will' (John 3:8) — which appears to be everywhere. No one and no religion can control this spirit."

So on this weekend of remembrance of all that went wrong, all the retaliation on all sides, and the acts of love that are never small, I pray that we remember we breathe the same air, the same YHVH, that we are literally in this together.

"Just keep breathing consciously in this way and you will know that you are connected to humanity from cavemen to cosmonauts, to the entire animal world, and even to the trees and the plants. And we are now told that the atoms we breathe are physically the same as the stardust from the original Big Bang. Oneness is no longer merely a vague mystical notion, but a scientific fact."

~Richard Rohr, The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See
(Bolding mine)


Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

I actually did yoga just an hour ago and we ended with and OHM chant... read this post and was happy... sometimes it means everything to me just to feel even a little be connected with... *anything*... so this post helped me get there today... thank you. :)

Rebecca Snavely said...

Thanks for reading. It struck me as so simple and so profound and I felt the need to share - I'm glad it offered connection to you as well!