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  • The Power of the Breath

    Posted on October 25th, 2010 Ruth Abusch-Magder 2 comments

    For Jewish professionals, Cheshvan is both a moment to catch our breath and to catch up. This week, Rabbi Andrea Goldstein of Shaare Emeth in St. Louis captures beautifully the struggle of trying to do both.

    Rabbi Andrea Goldstein

    This moment.  So much gratitude for this quiet, unexpected, peace-filled moment.  Sitting in the rocker with Lila.  Her long limbs – usually in constant motion – curled up softly in my lap, so still.  Her mass of slightly damp red curls nuzzled under my chin.  Inhaaaaale … the inside of my nose is filled with the aroma of “no more tears.”  No tears.  No fighting.  No struggling.  No words.  Just her breath.  And my breath.  And I am present.

    Breathe in.

    And so happy.

    Breathe out.

    I am here.

    Breathe in.

    Just here.

    Breathe out.

    Just don’t forget to return those library books tomorrow.


    And that bulletin article.


    Oy, that article.  What I am going to write about?  Does anyone even read them anyway….

    Lila stirs on my lap.  She is too big to find comfort in the crook of my arm for much more than a moment.  I know that.  And I squandered this time with inconsequential thoughts of tomorrow.  And just like that, my happiness is gone.  Replaced by anger … frustration … disappointment for what’s been lost.

    I need to forgive myself my wanderings.  I need a break from a judging mind.  I need just enough strength and humility to return to my breath, my intent, my present … again … and again … and again … and again … and again.


    2 responses to “The Power of the Breath”

    1. I LOVED this meditation when I first heard it, and I love it just as much now. Thank you, Andrea, for describing the quest with clarity, compassion, and humor.

    2. Priceless, Andrea. We’ve all been there. Thich Nhat Hanh would smile along with us, I’m sure. Your compassion and your humanity are showing rather nicely.

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