Getting to “the Still Point”

Steve Shoemaker sent this Breath Prayer on March 24, 2012 during Holy Week based on Jesus’ word to another criminal hanging on the cross next to him. I waited until now to post it on Views from the Edge.

Prayers (breathing) –  8 syllables in (inhale); 8 out (exhale)

– Steve Shoemaker

Jesus Christ, Child of God, Savior: (teacher) Have mercy on me, your sister.

(brother).  (on us your siblings.)

(Have mercy on me, a sinner.)

Gracious God, Jesus Christ, Spirit:

Give me (us) peace, patience, joy and love.

Loving God, you create, sustain:

give us dreams, energy and skill.

Holy Spirit, Comforter, Fire:

Mold us, move us, keep us alive.

Mysterious Divinity:

Show us what we can know and do.

We have left the path, lost our way:

Forgive us, O God; set us straight.

Your grace and love surround us, God:

Help us be grateful, loving, kind.

Our life will soon be over, God:

Remember us in paradise…

I waited until now to share this prayer. It strikes me as an antidote to the onslaught of misery and hate during this campaign season. Breathing Prayer calms my soul, slows down my whirring mind, and brings it down into the heart. The ancient practices of Breath Prayer and Lectio Divina move me into the great Stillness at “the still point of the turning world”… where the dance is.

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest
nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered.
Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the
point, the still point,There would be no dance, and there is only the

T.S. Eliot, 1888-1965), The Four Quartets.

For more on Breath Prayer and the variety of prayer in the Christian tradition, click on this link: Ten Ways to Pray: A Short Guide to a Long History of Talking with God.