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Breathing In – Andy Lindley

My Breathing In - Andy Lindley

A New Series

Welcome to a new series, where each week of the Month we ask people to reflect on how they Breathe In (Week 1),  ‘Breathe Out’ (Week 2)  and about their Supportive communities (Week 3).

We hope, to introduce you all, to our simple tool, to help us reflect on our Flourishing.  We hope it will help you reflect both individually and perhaps in your Grass Roots Groups and ‘Breathing in’, or ‘Exploring’, as we seek out things that give us life and nuture us, like roots in soil,  is one element of the process.

My personality type is such that I am hungry for novelty.  I have a deep need to be stimulated intellectually, and therefore part of my ‘Breathing in’ is to learn and seek new ideas.  Reading my bible is part of that, but it doesn’t always come easily and is far more fruitful for me, when alongside it, either I read a commentary (books by clever people who have studied the meanings, the social context, the history and application), or I talk about it with others, or I reflect on it, in order to share its application with others.   Walking my dog daily, also gives me a chance to exercise, and also to listen to podcasts.  I love Rob Bell, the Liturgists, Field Preachers (my mentor in the USA’s podcast),the BBC’s Moral Maze , the Lectio Divina App and of course our own ‘Walk the Talk York(shire) – thanks Hannah!

 Ironically though, equally valuable for me, spiritually, is the exact opposite of this wordy barrage.  I love the familiar rhythm of the Northumbrian prayer words, our Thursday morning Matt’s house, prayer, or our Grass Roots Groups’  Serenity prayer – simple words  in each gathering, repeated each time we meet.  The rehearsed and learned  rhythm and words over time now shortcut me into a prayerful state of mind very swiftly.   At other times, choosing deliberate stillness, and silence, calming my mind and body leaves me open to God in a different way, whether that be sat in an armchair, or even better walking in open countryside. 

As someone trained as a physicist, reading the New Scientist, or BBC science magazine, keeps me open  to the wonder of God in creation (something I learned from a fellow Geek Nun from OHP Whitby).  Equally, heading out, with a camera, or with paints and easel, using art rather than science,  I enter into the state psychologists call  ‘Flow’ where ones whole self is enveloped in capturing this wonder, I lose track of time and it feels like a time of real spiritual refreshing and cleansing. 

And I have to confess, in a more wordly way, I love a good film, a tv comedy, or whodunnit, or some action movies just to escape from the real world on occasion too.  Equally there is nothing better than a meal out with good company and conversation.  

There is probably much more in my list, if I reflected for a little longer, but I hope it gives you a taste of what might be part of your ‘Breathing In’, the Spiritual roots, you have discovered,  and what brings you life, phsycially mentally and spiritually.

Andy Lindley

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