Friday, May 13, 2011

The Secret of Breath

Breath of life.

Its huge. 

Real huge. 

We have a lot of images attached to this, and its meaning looms large. Our past is dotted with its undeniable traces through esoteric traditions as well as methods and means not so hidden or obscure;  breath of life encompasses so much.

The secret in Awakening is that breath has a two-fold meaning.  Your body must take in breath moment by moment, like the movement of your heart, this breath must continue. It is continuous, and just as you breath in the vital oxygen, your etheric body breathes in prana, Qi, or life force.  This breath is constant, and it has a kind of metabolism because what it takes in, it transforms, creates in a co-creative way. As you live, the creative force is moving through you in a very literal way.  This energy, which we say supports all life is the stream of energy upon which we ride.  Truth is, we ARE this force.  We cannot be killed, stilled, or taken away from the stream.  We and the stream are One, and this is where things can get incomprehensible.  Be ready for paradox, be able to handle a mystery.  If you can, you begin to step into the stream of life force and its great wonders.

In the yogic traditions all over the world, breath becomes so vital. The shaman out on the vast prairie holds up his pipe to the sky as he takes in the smoke; breath made visible.  A sacrament to the All.  One pipe becomes All.  Underpinning it is breath.  Breath is life, power, life force, prana, Qi. We breathe this in all the time.  Thoughts and feelings can hinder its movement. We can so restrict its flow that it feels as though we do not have enough of its energy.  In an Awakening, though, you can begin to feel the movement of this energy as though it is pure bliss.....because it is. If you resist its flow, it turns into tension and pain.  The traditions, though, speak of straight spine, lotus, half lotus, eyes focused on third eye, tongue on the roof of the mouth. All of this has a purpose, it is said, which is to help facilitate breath as well as the flow of energy in the body.

By breathing, you calm the body.  If you breath in one nostril and the next slowly, you will find the troubles of a moment ago will likely completely dissolve.  A student who was upset in my class tried this method and cried out "Man, this is like opium!  What are you doing to me?"  Well, I wasn't doing anything.  The student was merely using the motion of physical breath to effect a very energetic change.  This reminded the feeling, the emotional side to just calm down.  And so it works. The body can be used to remind the etheric body what it needs to do.  Breathing is an important pat of this.  The etheric, though, has such a fine stream of energy flowing through it, its more like its a plant absorbing CO2 through its leaves, through all of its surfaces.  This is how we "breathe" in prana.  Our energy centers, the chakras, are powerful funnels for this energy as a way of corresponding to the different pitches or qualities of our being as defined in energy.  Just as a song is not composed of just one note but a series of notes, so is our energy composed of a scale of harmonics. 

If breathing helps you get there, great.  I think breathing is very important, but the deeper truth is that your energy body brings this energy down from on high into the physical system in a process that is more like a cycling wave with eddies and streams, our root bringing it in at the base, and all other centers bringing in different wavelengths of the same energy of the cosmos.  While it certainly feels as though the energy of an awakening proceeeds from root to crown (not always; it can jump around and certainly does this).  The thing to realize is that each energy gate or chakra is just that; a gateway.  Each chakra will draw into the body certain frequencies of energy for the good of the whole. Each gateway is a world of its own, like a dynamic organ that is part of a larger whole.  It is a vibration of consciousness in a body of being that operates as a whole.  Consciousness, then, is an assemblage of parts....particles....just as your physical body is made up of vast continents of cells all with their own individual consciousness helping to cooperate in this loving and caring way for the good of the all.  And on top of this rides your own particalized consciousness which can delve into the ocean of this wave of being that makes up boundless numbers of particles of awareness which all give up some part of themselves in their focus in order to be part of the whole.  In doing this, none are diminished, they give up their focus of being singular in order to dream BIG. When you awaken, you are that cell that suddenly begins to dream big and suddenly finds itself riding that forward edge of WAVE consciousness! 

Particle/wave.  Dual ranges of awareness. Both are part of a larger continuum.  Breathing in, breathing out.  When you breathe out, you are creating something.  Literally and figuratively.  What are you creating?  Are you aware of what just left you? You breathe out feeling, you breathe in life, which is also feeling from the universe, and will feel the bliss "locked up" in it as you become more aware-ised through such an Awakening as this.  What did you just create in that breath? Becoming mindful of what you are, who you are, and what you are becoming, helps breath to become a sacred act of purposefulness.  Forget the guilt and shame....let that go and be free in your breath. It can also help to facilitate the flow of life force into you as it tells you to calm down and feel your birthright. It brings with it the bliss of Being.  Life force is creation and creation, the act of it, is sheer bliss. Always has been, hopefully it remains that way. Creating was THE most amazing thing for the Source of all Life.  And as it breathed us out in that big long shuddering breath, what do you think It created?

This is the secret of breath.  Its a big one, an important one. When you understand that your life force is inspired (inspiration.....the primal merging of forces that bring about creation itself) then you will perhaps feel it in a new way.


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