Saturday, August 9, 2014

Centering and Breathing

Nothing is More Important Than Proper Breathing — Diaphragmatic Deep Breathing

Still, even if you breathe correctly, bad habits such as smoking, lack of exercise, overeating may negatively affect your overall breathing capacity. When you are a prisoner of habit, all the devotional practice and good intentions are to no avail. And that's where diaphragmatic deep breathing comes in. It can actually help you break bad habits.

So, is there a purpose to deep breathing, beyond its beneficial therapeutic effects? Diaphragmatic Deep Breathing allows you to slow down your metabolism, which in turn allows you to center yourself. What do I mean by centering?

It is hard to define centering because it is both a physical state (locus) and the awareness of being in that state. It's like being in the center of yourself and feeling and visualizing the confines of your being, watching it ebb and flow, and ultimately widen. Once you are able to center yourself, the very notion of confines drops away, and you exist in a state of undivided entirety.

Focusing on the tip of the nose with the eyes half-closed can is helpful in learning to center yourself. In case the eyelids flutter, try to find just the right amount of "openness" until they stop. Once you find the optimal position for your eyes and are focused on the tip of your nose without straining, you might begin to feel a sensation of the "head expanding," as if some force is prying you apart from the center outward. If you can "lock in," so to speak, you're centered. Now hold it and breathe.

You can enter and exit this state (center yourself) at will. Moreover, knowing that this state exists and you are able to enter it allows you greater power in fending off the rigors and challenges of daily life. Not that the world around is shrinking; you become one with it and your being looms large in it. You feel yourself expanding, able to fend off any challenge. Breathing is the key to this state and needs to be mastered as a precondition to Golden Flower Meditation. I found a great description of the process, one that parallels and broadens mine. Check it out:

Breath Of Life
"In the image above, the action of the diaphragm is shown. The diaphragm is located towards the bottom of the rib cage, and its job is to bellow down to draw breath into the lungs. This is much like squeezing a turkey baster. When you release the bulb, the action of it expanding draws air into the tube — this is natural breathing. Notice how in this way breath is draw in, not forced in. This type of breathing also ensures that the full area of the lungs are involved in the process, allowing more oxygen and energy to have access to the bloodstream."
Breath Of Life: Calm Power Through Natural Breathing ~Joshua Williams
The Secret of the Golden Flower states:
"One should not be able to hear with the ear the outgoing and the intaking of breath. What one hears is that it has no tone. As soon as it has tone, the breathing is rough and superficial, and does not penetrate into the open. The heart must be made quite light and insignificant. The more it is released, the less it becomes; the less it is, the quieter. All at once it becomes so quiet that it stops. Then the true breathing is manifested and the form of the heart comes to consciousness. If the heart is light, the breathing is light for every movement of the heart affects breath-energy. If breathing is light, the heart is light, for every movement of breath-energy affects the heart. In order to steady the heart, one begins by taking care of the breath energy. The heart cannot be influenced directly. Therefore, the breath energy is used as a handle, and this is what is called maintenance of the concentrated breath-energy."
Breathing is of vital importance; it is first step in the quest for self-actualization. A very important step, the key to new states of being. Begin the journey by exploring the relationship of breathing to heart rate and to centering. It leads to better health, reduced stress, and ultimately to ecstatic states, should choose to pursue them. But it starts with breathing: for a detailed description of proper breathing practice, visit the Visionary Being website. It's as simple as breathing in and breathing out. What's more, it's the doorway to the Backward-Flowing Method.

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