The gift of life comes from God’s ruah, not just at creation, but ruah continues to breathe within us throughout our lifetime, sustaining us and leading us back to wholeness and communion with God. God desires for us to live an abundant life that involves Christian community, but stress threatens to pull us in a different direction. The physiological arousal from the stress response causes us to go into a self-preservation mode, and this focus on self threatens to create a barrier that separates us from God and others. Most research is focused on the physical dimension, and as we begin to understand more about our physiology, we tend to view this from a medical perspective, giving less attention to the spiritual dimension. We develop a functional dichotomy and fail to recognize the ways that physical and spiritual health are inseparable and contribute to one another. Heart rate variability (HRV) training encourages physiological balance by reducing our stress responses, and breath is the driving force that increases variability through resonance and promotes health. Spiritual practices have long resulted in these same physiological benefits, but we have not had the technology and knowledge to understand them. Now that we understand more about what is happening physiologically, we cannot discard the importance of the spiritual dimension. Integrating a spiritual dimension to HRV training allows the truth of ruah to take on greater meaning. Although stress threatens to become a barrier, ruah constantly works against that, leading us to wholeness and joining us with God and others.
Dr. Ruben Habito
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White, Pamela E., "The Breath of Life: The Importance of Ruah in Heart Rate Variability Training" (2021). Doctor of Ministry Projects and Theses. 27.