Experience Divine Joy with Every Breath You Breathe
by Eric Munro
This book outlines spiritual techniques this author has been experimenting with for the last three years, techniques modified from many great spiritual traditions to help achieve a feeling of loving communion with God at will during the day. Hopefully, others will find them useful in their own spiritual quest.
From my early 20s, I had been actively seeking spiritual upliftment, some regular tangible connection with the divine. At age 47, finally, I was put on a path of regular, consistent communions, feelings of God’s love and joy in the heart. After working more than two decades in the high-tech industry, I felt it was time to leave and find something else to do that would better further my spiritual aspirations. I wasn’t sure what; only it was time. It was a major decision, leaving a lucrative position while needing to support my family. When contemplating the move once, I heard in my mind a very strong divine voice say “You’d be absolutely insane to stay where you are.” With this confirmation, I quit and started to volunteer part-time at Living Wisdom School, where my then middle school–aged children attended.
Despondency and anguish filled most of my next year. Leaving behind my career identity, doing less intellectually, and not being as engaged outwardly proved very trying for me. I had resolved to use this opportunity to develop more spiritually, but this too was failing me. My daily schedule consisted of getting children to school, waiting an hour, helping out with math class, waiting two hours, then helping out with lunch duty, waiting again, then chauffeuring the children to some after-school activity or home.
During these waiting periods, I had been trying spiritual activities. I tried meditating in my car, but I didn’t feel enough inspiration and couldn’t will myself to continue this. I practiced japa, the Indian technique of constantly repeating God’s name. I became very good at silently saying “God” while also feeling upset that I didn’t feel joy! Having been inspired by Frank Laubach’s and Brother Lawrence’s Practicing the Presence of God methods, I tried thinking about God and talking with God while sitting at parks and taking walks. Some fleeting inspirations came; they weren’t enough, and I quit trying.
I finally gave up that first school year and just sank into reading the newspaper, Internet surfing, and random household chores. At the start of the next school year, I had dropped my children off and was waiting for math class to start. Feeling quite despondent, I thought about getting coffee and reading the newspaper; instead, though, I felt, “No, I can’t repeat this anymore.” Instead, I got out of my car and told God, “Well, I don’t know what to do, so I’ll just take walks with you. They seemed to be the best activity I tried last year. It’s all I know how to do.” As soon as my feet touched the sidewalk, I felt this loving golden presence descend and heard very clearly a divine voice in my mind say:
Love God! God wants your love,
God needs your love, Love God!
Instantly, I realized I had been saying “God,” thinking about God, talking to God, but I hadn’t been loving God with feeling in my heart.
While exhilarated, I also felt somewhat foolish. How could I have missed the first commandment! Raised in Christianity, I certainly knew it. And my own spiritual family, the Ananda Communities for Self-Realization, reiterated it every Sunday.
Right then, I resolved to practice loving God every day. And since this revelation came while walking, I’d find the best way to love God in a half-hour walk every morning right before math class! So for the next year, I experimented with different meditation,
breathing, chanting, prayer, and energy techniques to love God while walking—all to optimize loving God during a 30- minute walk.
Several weeks after starting this exploration, I could feel a communion with God during every single walk. Like clockwork, after 10 to 20 minutes of walking, I could feel God’s joy well up inside and all around me. I refined for myself a specific set of techniques for these walks and called them love breathing, as they attempt to link loving God with every breath.
For a full year, I only practiced love breathing while walking. It hadn’t worked for me while sitting or standing. After a year, though, new inspirations that worked while sitting and standing came. So now a feeling of warm, loving communion with God is just a few breaths away whenever wanted. My spiritual focus today is to work on wanting God’s communion with every breath!
Paramhansa Yogananda states, “Everyone must find their own way to make love to God.” Hopefully, others will find the techniques described here useful in their spiritual search. Mostly, though, it’s hoped others will be inspired to practice loving God daily and to experiment and find the best method for them.
In God’s Joy,