Today is election day, and from the news reports I’m seeing, there may be long lines at the polls. Waiting in line doesn’t have to be a waste of time - instead, it can be an opportunity to practice meditative contemplation using a breath prayer or affirmation. The Jesus Prayer is a breath prayer that many use, or you can try a comforting phrase, said in rhythm with your breath, such as "All is well" or "God is in this moment". Try it - either today at the polls or the next time you are stuck in traffic, waiting in line at the post office or just waiting. Using a breath prayer brings great peace - instead of feeling all stressed out by the wait or the annoyance, you can sustain a sense of calm throughout the experience.
The Jesus prayer is a simple phrase that is prayed repeatedly, again and again. It can be said out loud or in your mind:
Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.
It can be repeated in rhythm with the inhale and exhale of your breath: inhaling, say "Jesus Christ, Son of God", exhaling, say "Have mercy on me." Many devout Christians have repeated this simple prayer throughout their days to feel a connection with God. It is very comforting.
I have trouble with the exact wording of this phrase, as I cannot get my thinking, egoic mind around asking for mercy, as that implies that I am a bad person. I have more than enough self-inflicted guilt for a lifetime, so that phrase doesn’t work for me. At least not yet! Instead, I revert to the language of the Catholic mass, which uses the Greek version of the Jesus prayer:
Kyrie Eleison. (say, "kereeay elayzone")
Christe Eleison. (say, "kreestay elayzone")
In English, this translates to "Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy." I find comfort in these words, which I repeat as a breath prayer: Inhaling, I say "Kyrie Eleison." Exhaling, I say, "Christe eleison."
It’s good to have a breath prayer in your back pocket, so to speak, for times when you might get irritated, like waiting to vote.
Speaking of voting, if you are a US citizen, please exercise your right to vote today. Voting is a privilege that not all people on earth enjoy. It is a spiritual duty that keeps you in right relationship with your integrity and your Highest Self. Blessings!