The Cadence of Breath

Oscar Castro-Neves is an accomplished guitarist and composer. He writes musical scores for movies. He says it is common in a dramatic scene to gradually bring the music to crescendo, and then stop – rest – silence. “Whatever is spoken on the screen in that silence is heard more clearly, more powerfully; the words are lent an additional potency, because they are spoken out of the silence. When you listen to music,” he counsels me, “listen to the cadence of rest.”

Then he gives me an example I can understand.

“Martin Luther King, the most famous speech of his life. Listen to the cadence:
Free at last. (rest) Free at last. (rest) Thank God almighty, we are free at last.”

One beautiful form of meditation is to simply follow the breath. Sit comfortably, and close your eyes. Let yourself become aware of the physical sensation of the breath, feeling the shape, texture, and duration of the inhale and the exhale. Feel the rhythm of the breath, feel its timing,

the end of the exhale, the readiness to inhale. When the mind wanders, do not worry. Simply return your awareness to the breath. Do this for five minutes at first.

What do you notice about rhythm of rest in your breathing?

What do you notice about the rhythm of breath in your body?

“Sabbath” by Wayne Muller