I've been blessed over the last 15 years or so to learn about my breath, inconjuction with health, with yoga, with prayer, with my spirituality.
Often it's a very short encounter or reminder of my breath that brings helpful awareness: I've had the presence of mind sometimes in a time of tension to notice that I'm holding my breath, or breathing shallowly. I then consciously take a few deep breaths, which allows me to notice my heartbeat and to feel love for myself in that difficult moment. I'm then able to feel my emotions, notice them and hold them, instead of judging them or my actions. This further helps me to look at the situation or the person before me more softly, with more space, with a sense of possibility. I don't always feel perfectly calm; often things aren't resolved yet. But I allow something spacious to enter in and that helps. If I'm really awake in that moment, I'll also take my attention to my feet connected to the earth and "breathe through my feet." I bend my knees slightly, consciously push on my feet, and feel that connection as I breathe. It can really ground me, reminding me to whom I am connected and from whom I receive all I need.
Ken's sermon on Sunday focused on our breath being God's grace filling us, providing us with life and love and hope. The breath can seem so simple, yet practicing our awareness of it over time parallels a growing attentiveness to God's presence right here and now, even closer to us than our breath.