Rosary of Breath

Rosary of Breath…

(A Spiritual Exercise)

  1. I make a gesture of reverence like a bow, folded hands in prayer, or the Sign of the Cross.
  2. I enter a period of silence and meditation…
  3. I think about what I desire, that I desire to listen to the voice of God, Allah, or my sacred One…
  4. I take an item or symbol of my Faith, touching it, like a Rosary or Prayer Beads[1] or a beaded necklace, and hold it in my hands. I remember my Faith Tradition, whatever it may be where I have prayed with others in harmony…
  5. I enter into silent meditation for a few minutes, holding the beads and if I am in a group, sharing the item I am holding with others.
  6. I slowly read the Prayer Texts below:

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_beads

Psalm 5: 2-4

2 O Lord, listen closely to my words. Understand my outcry.

3 Attend to the voice of my prayer, my King and my God.

4 For to you, I will pray. In the morning, Lord, you will hear my voice. (CPDV)

Philippians 4: 6-7

6 Be anxious about nothing. But in all things, with prayer and supplication, with acts of thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God.

7 And so shall the peace of God, which exceeds all understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

“Verily I am Allah: there is no god but I: so serve thou Me, (only) and establish regular prayer for celebrating My praise.”(Taha, 14)

Our prayer is living our lives in your Presence, oh Lord, every breath in, every breath out, given in all places and at all times for Your praise and glory. Breathe on us, holy Spirit; fill our hearts with Your love, and we will be created. (John Cooper)

I choose one of the prayer texts above and silently think it at the Cross or the beginning of my Prayer Beads. From here on I touch each bead and breathe in and silently express with my slightly open mouth, using only my breath, Yahweh, or my sacred name, or I just concentrate on my breath for each bead. I think of NOTHING, nothing else and desire to join in union with the Divine Mystery.[1]


[1] “Thoughts will come. If you find yourself obsessed with one pressing down on you from above, trespassing between you and that darkness, and asking, ‘What are you looking for? What do you want?’ tell it you want only God – ‘I crave God. I seek him and nothing else.’ … For the love of God, dismiss these thoughts, even though they sound holy and helpful.” (The Cloud of Unknowing, Anonymous, Shambhala Publications, Inc., 2009, Translation by Carmen Acevedo Butcher, p. 23).

7. After this period of silence, if doing this exercise in a group, (for instance, a Zoom interreligious on-line Prayer Group) I gently share my thoughts and express my love for a person in need.  I share any spiritual or other needs I have as appropriate. I ask to be included in the other person’s thoughts and prayers, and I ask out loud, “Will you please pray for me?”

8. I am silent again, this time hoping in a state of thoughtless contemplation, allowing God to do His work silently and passively in my heart and soul, that He may satisfy my spiritual needs…

9. I and others, if I am in a group, express thanks for this time of prayer, saying “Thank You, God!” I breathe in the Spirit of thankfulness and breathe out the Spirit of thankfulness and satisfaction for others to receive… God is everywhere, in the very air we breathe… God IS…

10. I read, myself or in my group in communion with others:

Our prayer is living our lives in your Presence, oh Lord, every breath in, every breath out, given in all places and at all times for Your praise and glory. Breathe on us, holy Spirit; fill our hearts with Your love, and we will be created.

11. I am again silent, slowly breathing in the Spirit of thankfulness without comment or additional discussion, but I will if needed, later discuss what I have experienced with my Spiritual Director, Pastor, Imam, counselor or friends. I resolve to take this exercise again as often as needed and share this Exercise as appropriate in person or via electronic means with others in spiritual need.

Go in Peace, take time out of your life to receive this Exercise, to connect yourself with the inner image of God present in all mankind. When you see three dots…, it means to pause at that part of the Exercise in reflection.

John Cooper

Tuscaloosa, AL

About jcooperforpeace
Spiritual Director, Spirituality of Inner Peace

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