Sunday Service: “Just Breathe”

Terri L. Messman-Moore, Professor, Department of Psychology at Miami joins us this morning.  Across the ages, spiritual and religious teachers have extolled the importance of the breath. In Christian traditions, one’s relationship with God is called “The Breath of Life.” Indeed, one of the best-known verses in the Bible is Genesis 2:7, “And the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living soul.” In medical terms, the breath is a vital sign that life has begun, and cessation of breath is a marker of death. Meditators focus on their breath. Eastern mystics teach meditation upon one’s breath as a way of gaining inner peace. Yogis coordinate specific movements and poses with the breath. In Kundalini yoga, we are taught that the mind follows the breath, and that the key to controlling the mind is in controlling the breath, a practice called Pranayam. In today’s talk, the speaker will merge some of these spiritual ideas with another perspective—that of psychological science. How does psychological science understand the breath in relation to our mental and physical well-being? We will explore how can we use the breath to shift our physiology, regulate and balance our emotions, enhance our own inner awareness, and even improve our relationships.  Service Leader:  Doris Bergen.