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Breath Prayer: An Ancient Practice for the Everyday Sacred

A companion retreat to the book.

Registration Fee: $120 USD

Program Description

For centuries the practice of breath prayer has helped center people from a variety of faith traditions on the sacred in everyday life. Through brief words of prayer or petition said silently to the rhythm of one’s breath, this simple, meditative act combines praise for the divine with focused intention, creating a profound spiritual connection in the quiet, and even mundane, moments of the day. In her book Breath Prayer, Christine Valters Paintner, online abbess of Abbey of the Arts, introduces us to this spiritual practice and offers forty beautiful poem-prayers for walking, working, dressing, cleaning, sitting in silence, doing the dishes, living in community–breathing the divine into our daily lives. Over time these recitations become as natural as breathing. We don’t so much recite the prayers as the prayers recite us, guide us, and open our hearts to the everyday sacred. With each of these prayers, Paintner includes reflections on life’s ordinary beauty and heartfelt advice for discovering the sacred all around. Breath Prayer concludes with guidance for creating your own breath prayers to deepen your practice. This online companion retreat immerses you in this practice with extra wisdom from Christine in recordings of weekly webinar sessions offered during a community version of the retreat, weekly scripture reflections from John Valters Paintner, reflections on biblical art from Dr. Amanda Dillon, and invitations into contemplative movement through breath with Dr. Jamie Marich. Please keep in mind that these recordings were originally done for our Advent retreat and there may be an occasional reference to the season of Advent, however the materials are applicable any time of year.

What's Included

Six days each week for four weeks you receive an email with a link to the day’s content. The 7th day is a time for rest and integration. The materials are in written, video, and audio format which you can view and listen to at any time. You have lifetime access to the materials in the course.

Day 1: Hour long webinar recording with Christine Valters Paintner includes overview of the week, meditation and reflection, song, and movement video. Includes audio and video recordings as well as written transcript.

Day 2: Written Scripture Reflection with John Valters Paintner

Day 3: Dancing Mindfulness videos with Jamie Marich

Day 4: Videos on biblical art relating to breath with Amanda Dillon (includes PDFs of the art and transcript of the videos)

Day 5: Questions for Reflection

Day 6: Closing Blessing

Day 7: Sabbath rest and integration

  • Ongoing access to the materials in our private and easy-to-navigate retreat platform on Ruzuku.
  • Not included is a copy of Christine’s book Breath Prayer. Please order a copy ahead of the program.

Weekly Themes

Week 1

The Original Breath

Week 1:
The Original Breath

An introduction to breath prayer. We explore the second Creation story where God breathes life into the human being. We are animated and sustained moment by moment in this holy breath.

Week 2

Deepening Your Breath Prayer Practice

Week 2:
Deepening Your Breath Prayer Practice

We explore the story of Ezekiel's dry bones and the way the gift of breath re-animates our arid places with renewed vitality.

Week 3

Embracing Your Mortality

Week 4:
Embracing Your Mortality

We explore the moment when Jesus breathes his last breath. This invites us into a consideration of memento mori and how our mortality can teach us about living more fully.

Week 4:

Creating Your Own Breath Prayers

Week 4:
Creating Your Own Breath Prayers

An introduction to creating your own breath prayers. We explore the story of Pentecost when Jesus breathes on the disciples and the Holy Spirit comes like a rushing wind to send them forth into the world.

Your Guides for the Journey

Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE

Christine is the director of, a virtual monastery exploring contemplative practice, creative expression, and ways to nourish an earth-cherishing consciousness. She is a spiritual director, teacher, pilgrimage guide, and author of numerous books on spirituality and the arts. Her deepest belief is that the earth is the original monastery–a wisdom guide and mentor in living a soulful and vibrant life. Visit the “About Christine” page for more information.

John headshot 2

John Valters Paintner, MTS

John studied education and earned a teaching certificate in his home state of California.  John later went on to earn a Masters in Theological Studies at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley.  After working in parish ministry for several years, John returned to the classroom, teaching high school religion for twelve years. He now works as Prior of the Abbey of the Arts alongside his wife of twenty years, Abbess Christine. Visit the “About John” page for more information.


Amanda Dillon, PhD

Amanda’s research specialisation is Biblical Reception History with a particular focus on the New Testament. Her research interests include: Biblical Reception, Visual Exegesis, Multimodal Analysis, Hermeneutics, Theology and the Visual Arts. Female characters in the New Testament and their afterlives are another significant dimension of her current research and teaching. Amanda has published on the reception of the Bible in: 21st century lectionaries; contemporary Graphic Design; the art of Marc Chagall; Manga Bibles; Urban and Street Art.


Jamie Marich, Ph.D., LPCC-S, LICDC-CS, REAT, RYT-500

Dr. Jamie Marich (she/they) describes herself as a facilitator of transformative experiences. A clinical trauma specialist, expressive artist, writer, yogini, performer, short filmmaker, Reiki master, TEDx speaker, and recovery advocate, she unites all of these elements in her mission to inspire healing in others. She began her career as a humanitarian aid worker in Bosnia-Hercegovina from 2000-2003, primarily teaching English and music while freelancing with other projects. Jamie travels internationally teaching on topics related to trauma, EMDR therapy, expressive arts, mindfulness, and yoga, while maintaining a private practice and online education operations in her home base of Warren, OH. Jamie is the author of numerous books on trauma recovery and healing, with many more projects in the works. Marich is the founder of The Institute for Creative Mindfulness.

Praise for Breath Prayer Companion Retreat

I have noticed how much calmer and joyful I am feeling. Recognising that my breath is a gift, in fact a "soul friend" on my journey is a wonderful discovery.
Denise Dale
Thank you Christine for this chance to reflect on my breath and how much we are all connected with our breath and the passing of gases with the plants. To know that we are all praying with creation, even if we are not aware that we are doing it is amazing.
Camilla Caughlin
The gift of the Breath Prayer Retreat has been creating my own breath prayers for so many situations. It has become natural and I love the self in me that seems to create on the spot. Breathing is gift - Outpouring love.
Carolyn Nickles


Your registration constitutes an agreement with our online program Terms and Conditions below.

All prices displayed in USD.


Registration Fee

If you need a different payment plan or a scholarship to make this program accessible, please get in touch with us.

Purchase the
Companion Book

The book is not included in the registration fee. You may purchase the book at the links below or at your local book seller. Thank you for your support!

Terms and Conditions

Please consider your purchase carefully and review the many free materials we have on our website to make sure the program will be a good fit or get in touch with any questions.

We ask that you honor our work by not sharing the program materials with others who are not enrolled.

Please contact us for permission to quote in settings beyond the program

Some self-study retreats include video or audio recordings of sessions that were recorded in a live community offering of the retreat and may make reference to forums or other modes of sharing. Please disregard these as self-study retreats do not have these available.

If you choose a payment plan and stop payment before fulfilling the commitment without contacting us to make other arrangements, your access to the program will be removed.