Snorkelers and scuba divers report a greatly heightened awareness of life when hearing their own breathing. Old yoga techniques and modern rebirthing therapies teach concentration on the very act of breathing. Buddhists speak of "mindful" or "conscious" breathing as the most basic practice for touching peace.

Focus on breath is focus on being — on creation and on existence.

The Hebrew word for breath is ruach, which is the very same word for spirit.

And to whom does original breath, original spirit, belong? What is the source of breath, of spirit, of life itself?

Wayne Dosick, Soul Judaism