The Art of Breathing

by

Mindful breathing can reduce stress, increase feelings of good will and keep us present in the moment

Image1Breathing is fundamental to life – an automatic process that, for the most part, we take for granted. It is only when we experience difficulties in this area, that the ability to breathe with ease is truly appreciated. Further more, research on exhalation has shown our breath to be completely unique to the individual – similar to a fingerprint; our breath contains a characteristic molecular “breathprint”.

Our breath is one of the most basic connections we have to our environment. Each time we inhale and exhale, we receive and give to our natural environment. This is a simple yet profound connection. We eliminate up to 70% of our body’s waste through our lungs. Clean air is vital to maintaining the delicate balance of life on our planet.

Our breath is one of the most basic connections we have to our environment

To Breathe Well is to Live Well

Our breath is connected to our emotional state. Have you ever noticed how your breathing changes when you feel anxious? We tend to take more shallow breaths when we’re nervous, and even shorter and faster breaths when we experience panic. When we feel tense we hold our breath, pausing at the top of our inhaled breath before we exhale again. Anger affects our breath by forcing long inhales and exhales. In a calm state we breathe slow and steady, and our breathing becomes shallower with relaxation, similar to when we begin to fall asleep.

If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath. ― Amit Ray

Breathing is unique in comparison to other automatic functions of the body, in that it can also be regulated voluntarily. Techniques of using the breath to direct and improve the body’s energy, and aid in the release of emotions, dates back thousands of years.

To breathe well is to live well. We are all born with the mastery of breathing. As babies we naturally practice deep abdominal breathing. As we get older, stressful lifestyles and fear affects how we breathe. Breathing from the abdomen is essential because the blood in the lowest part of the lungs is rich in oxygen. This diaphragmatic breathing, or baby breathing, triggers the body’s relaxation response. If you are using your diaphragm well, you will see your stomach gently expand on the in-breath, and relax back down on the out-breath. Breathing shallowly and high from the chest is linked to many conditions, such as anxiety disorders, asthma and backache.

Our breath regulates our autonomic nervous system, promoting either the sympathetic (fight or flight) response or the parasympathetic (rest and digest) response. In the practice of Yoga, the Pranayama breathing techniques can shift the balance of the autonomic nervous system away from sympathetic dominance.

Pranayama, a traditional Yogic practice of slowing, extending and observing your breath, prepares the mind for the stillness of meditation. Meditation, or dhyāna in Sanskrit, is a key aspect of Yoga, the seventh of the eight steps of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. You can find out more about the science of breathing in Yoga here.

[More…]

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

How to Awaken Your Consciousness Without Daily Meditation

awaken-your-consciousnessMeditation is a great tool for spiritual growth, but it is possible to awaken your consciousness without practicing it daily. Here is how.

There is no need to undermine the importance of meditation. It is one of the essential techniques to help you awaken your consciousness and find the answers you are looking for. However, daily meditation is not a must when you begin to live your life in the now under the guidance of your higher self. When your worldview includes the understanding of higher levels of consciousness and how to ecologically interact with the energy-informational field, your life turns into perpetual joyful exploration.

When your top priority is harmoniously realizing the potential giving to you by your higher self, you begin to awaken your consciousness. You begin to perceive and take good care of your aura energy as well as the emotional shell rather than just your physical form (more on emotional shell here: Beyond Human Aura Energy Field). You recognize that life consists of little things and you begin to notice and enjoy them. Reaching happiness and sharing your state with others become your essential goals in life. You begin to see the positive side of things and take the higher moral ground. It is not about always being happy or keep smiling, it is about discovering and holding on to your inner true core.

Your life becomes like meditation when you begin to realize your creative essence and you keep your subtle bodies synchronized. It happens when your physical body is guided by your five senses and in the time of need, you can rely on your sixth sense. Your emotional state or emotional intelligence (EQ) helps you make right choices and withstand the stress of everyday life. Your worldview is flexible and you accept your own truth as well as the truth of others. Synchronized subtle bodies also mean that your core values are intact with the purpose given to you by your higher self.

It may sound impossible to live your life this way in our current society, but that is where meditation techniques can be of great help. It is ok to fall from synchronicity of your subtle bodies, but staying on the ground for too long will eventually have its consequences. Instead of practicing meditation techniques daily, you can turn to them only when you lose your inner balance. That way you can build up your “consciousness immune system.” Certain meditation methods can help you quickly synchronize bodies on the higher levels of consciousness. When you have reached the perfect state of synchronicity at least once, you know how it feels and you can always come back to it. In order to do it, you can just listen to your inner core during meditation or conduct techniques that use a visual model of the energy-informational field.

[More…]

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

The Sanctity of Self

Image1by Brian Thompson.

Forget everything for just a moment or two.

Slowly breathe in through your nose, hold it for two seconds, and then slowly exhale. Do this three times or more.

Experience the bliss of feeling the air tickle the insides of your nostrils. Notice how the air feels as it races against your upper lip when you empty your breath. Notice how your chest rises and falls. Hear the sound of your breath inside your mind. Feel the coolness as the air travels down your throat, and its warmth as it returns.

This is awareness, being fully present and aware. Now, doesn’t that feel incredible calming?

Close your eyes and try it again. How does your experience change? What more do you notice? Can you feel your feet on the ground? Can you feel your bum on the seat?

Notice the sounds of the environment around you—notice how they come and go as effortlessly as your breath.

This is your true Self—the knowing, the noticing, the experiencing—the eternal witness to all that Is.

Let every moment be like this, where all of the incredible sensations of the here and now tickle the very presence of your being.

Identify yourself with nothing other than this. You are this aware presence—and not any of the perceptions that appear within it.

Do not be stirred by any thought that appears from mind. Realize that all thought is a sense perception, not unlike your breath. Simply notice each one and allow them each to pass.

Accept and release. Un-grasped; no thought can linger, no emotion can remain. In this emptiness that is your presence of peace, no problem can ever appear.

All is well.

[More…]

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Meditation Does To Your Mind What Exercise Does To Your Body

Meditation-buddha-statue-790x381@2xWhich type of meditation does your mind need? Usually, we treat our minds differently than our bodies, often avoiding taking care of the mind. 

How do you take care of your body?

The answer would comprise of one or more of the following elements: exercise, a healthy diet, physical hygiene, and taking proper medicine when required.

But that’s just scratching the surface.

Let’s take the example of exercising. People don’t just perform a single, universal set of exercises. They have various preferences, for different physical needs.

This can range from improving cardiovascular function and stamina, to improving muscle tone, gaining muscle mass, weight loss, and so on.

Now let’s concentrate on the physical hygiene. There is no one aspect of physical hygiene. Different parts of the body require different type of attention.

Take oral hygiene (brushing our teeth, flossing, mouth wash, etc.), bathing, and other grooming exercises.

In both cases (exercise and physical hygiene), every aspect requires a different set of tools and type of care. Simply put together the different tools and techniques we use just for taking care of our oral health and hygiene.

Now think of your mind, and mental health and hygiene.

How many exercises, techniques, and tools do you use to take care of it?

The most commonly known and popular tool, technique, and method is, well… meditation.

That’s it.

Now, does it strike as strange? How we have left the care of our mind to the fringes of our thought?

[More…]

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

The Power Below The Surface – You Are So Much More Than You Can Imagine

By Max Igan | Guest Writer for Wake Up World

The-Power-Below-The-Surface-You-Are-So-Much-More-Than-You-Can-Imagine-1-330x221What if we were powerful beyond measure? What if we were each individually capable of the most amazing things and collectively, to possess a creative potential so vast and wondrous that it cannot even be measured by any known standards? And what if our true potential had been purposely hidden from us and an enormous amount of effort had been undertaken to keep it that way?

People are seeing the truth of these statements now and they are beginning to feel the great potential that lies dormant inside them. That is a very positive thing and even though all are not yet awakened, most people now know, somewhere in the back of their minds that something is terribly wrong with the world today. People are beginning to feel again, and what they are feeling is that they are something more than they have been taught to believe they are and that there is something higher, more profound going on here. They often just cannot seem to put their finger on what it is that troubles them — but they know something is not right and the awareness and unease of it is there, always like a thorn or splinter, or a leaky faucet dripping somewhere in the back of their minds. People are beginning to realise that they are slaves. But how? How did it happen? How do we identify the prison? And how do we fix it?

The reason people find it difficult to identify the slavery system they are living in and often fail to ever comprehend their own power can be directly traced to the education and social systems people are subject to, virtually since birth. The education system for example is focussed almost entirely towards the left brain whereby people are trained to think in language. From this standpoint their understanding of reality becomes greatly dependent upon their comprehension of their language. When that language is English, a language which has been purposely designed solely at stimulating the left brain and which is virtually void of any spiritual understandings, peoples knowledge of reality and even of themselves, becomes almost entirely separated from any right brain understandings and thus to a great degree, separated from reality itself. The left brain decodes reality analytically whereas the right brain decodes it energetically.

How is one to ever truly comprehend reality in its most esoteric or even in its most basic forms, when the energetic aspect of reality is ignored and when using a language in which there are no words to explain such concepts to people? In the case of English, the problem is even further compounded as the vast majority of those who speak English fail to even clearly comprehend the true meanings of many of the words and phrases they use on a daily basis.

Of course people cannot be held wholly responsible for this predicament. English is an extremely deceptive language and it is quite complex. Many words have dual meanings or even more, depending upon the context in which they are used. This allows for more than a little ambiguity in the interpretation of even basic concepts. Plus it is essentially 3 languages running in parallel. One aspect of it is that which appears upon the surface, the everyday words we use in order to communicate with each other. Yet lying behind that, and running in tandem with it is legalese, the language of law while running behind legalese is the language of commerce.

[More…]

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Why is it so hard to be yourself? — Zen Thinking with Brian Thompson

Do you struggle with the belief that you’re not allowed to just be yourself?

Do you feel like your sense of self is being trampled upon by those around you, and that your self-expression is somehow being unfairly limited or confined?

Do you feel like others are trying to force you into their definition of who they want you to be?

“Why can’t I just be myself!”

In order to effectively answer this question, let me first ask you this:

Do you truly know who the self is that you’re struggling to try and be?

Who is this self that feels like it’s being suffocated?

Join me for 20 minute walk on the beach with my dog Koda while I explore these troubling existential questions, and see that the answer is much simpler than you could ever possibly imagine.

Thanks for watching, much love…

Brian Thompson
http://www.zenthinking.net

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

How to deal with being unmotivated and uninterested – when thats the space you are in

Sonia chats about how to deal with those moments when you are unmotivated or uninterested. She speaks about not giving into the pressure of keeping up appearances but instead allowing yourself to process those feelings and being ok with it. Sonia says that we are all infected with the social programs and so we must remember that before forcing ones self to live up to other peoples expectations. Out of those moments can come great motivation and passion.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail