Hi! I was meditating this afternoon, and what came to mind –because of questions that I received this morning through e-mails– is this: that very few people are aware of how breath plays an important role in your state of mind.
For example; did you ever feel as if you have no energy at all, for no apparent reason? Did you feel tired, even after sitting down for a long time?
Well, let me give you one fact; and this is going to be very simple; but very important knowledge.
Your brain requires three times, or more, energy, oxygen, than the rest of your body. And this is all done with your breath.
Now, there are a few things that you might not be aware of.
One, is that when you feel out of energy, it is because you might have retained the breath –unknowingly of course; unconsciously– because of some negative thinking.
Also, you find that even when you try to meditate and watch your breath, you’re trying to control your breath; without realizing it.
So one important fact to understand at this point is this:
You, as an ego, do not breathe.
It is the spirit essence in you
that breathes you.
The essence in you
in perfect harmony.
So if you were able to watch your breath [closes his eyes for a quiet inhalation and exhalation] –going in; going out; in perfect harmony– you begin to feel good; automatically. Because your body is being replenished, so to speak, with energy (sometimes referred to as qi or prana) and so therefore you’re getting what you need.
But there are two things that we do all the time; all the time.
One is we try to control the breath; and I’m not talking about deep breathing, like in qigong or in yoga. No. That is essential, that is very important, because we have to learn to breathe from the stomach.
So as a matter of fact, to know how you should breathe, place your hands on your stomach now, and take a deep breath.
Don’t take it from the nose –sniiiff– like that.
Take it through the nose by blowing out a balloon with your stomach [demonstrates].
Once you learn to breathe deeply, then you will find that even when you sit very still and watch your breath, you’ll find a perfect harmonious rhythm.
If you, at any time, while meditating and watching your breath, you try to control your breath, that’s your ego; control; taking over. So you’re the kind of person that likes to get your own way; you want to be in control all the time. And the real control, is not you. As far as your body is concerned, it is your breath.
And number two –another important fact– is this: that whenever you begin to feel as if there is a pause in your breathing rhythm… You hold your breath, okay? And at the moment of holding, you are thinking something negative. Isn’t it something?
But we do not realize that: how much energy it takes to even think a negative thought.
So, as a matter of fact, right now, let’s give it a try, okay?
You’re watching this. Close your eyes for a moment, and start watching your breath.
OK. Now, as you watch your breath, go with the flow.
Now I’m going to ask you one thing, as you watch your breath.
Are you controlling your breath?
Ninety-five percent you’re doing so.
But it’s good to know.
Because when you know
you’re controlling your breath,
all you have to do is simply learn to let go!
And allow the breathing to create its own balance and harmony.
Nature is always working perfectly. All you have to do is allow it. See?
Number two is, when you are retaining your breath,
it is because every time you think a negative thought…
It’s alright now; you’re still watching your breath.
Just let it go in and out…
Do nothing; do not control…
Just watch it.
Feel you’re being breathed, in other words.
Allow nature to do the breathing.
Do not breathe yourself.
Now I’ll tell you what.
Think a negative thought now. Any negative thought. Any worry… feeling of lack… trepidation… fear, guilt… whatever.
OK. Think of it right now.
Did you find that while you were thinking that,
you held your breath?
Even a little bit?
Every time you hold your breath,
you’re not sending energy to your brain.
And that’s why you begin to feel tired and exhausted.
And sometimes you can really feel bad to the point where it makes you sick.
So this is imperative –especially for those of you who teach qigong, and who teach yoga, and… any exercise, actually– is to learn to be one with your breath.
When you learn to be one with your breath,
then it is very easy to learn how to meditate.
Burt Harding transcribed by Leon Hieros
Thank you dearest Betty!