EXTRACT FROM MY FUTURE BOOK
Our thoughts and feelings, both which we know to be in our “head”, i.e. we are aware of, and those we are unaware of, are vibrating like a Morse Code in our breathing. It is an early break in Kathmandu, I am laying in the hotel and listening to my breathing. When I listen to my breathing, I come to the realization that what has already happened and passed actually remained in breathing! It stayed imprinted in breathing and influences breathing like the wind shakes, swings the branches of a tree. It is as if the sounds of an invisible alphabet, non-visual, imperceptible, yet palpable, that affect how we feel, what conclusions and decisions we make. Do this yourself too – listen to your breathing even for a short time. To be able to hear it actually, you have to listen to it by feeling the sensations in your body triggered by your breathing as it flows across your body. Calm down and feel, simply feel your body, sensations by focussing not on your thoughts, as usual, but on your breathing. What to do next you will probably ask, if you feel that your breathing is compressed, as if it under “pressure”, uneven, jerky, “short”, “sharp”, etc.? Start from doing nothing – simply breathe. Yet, when you breathe, do not think, but feel your own body and breathing, and at the same time try not to change anything. Accept everything what you have felt and keep on breathing by feeling and perceiving that. You will start feeling that you become relaxed with each sigh and may let go of the feeling, emotion or thought that limits you. You will start to take your ease and relax. It is essential - your breathing has to be very soft, simple, calm (as if you were laying in the blooming meadow during midsummer vacations in the countryside in your childhood), through the nose. Keep on breathing in this fashion for 3 minutes, then simply calm down, lay for a while and feel yourself slightly in a different way – more peaceful, wiser thoughts, decisions will come up, you will feel that you have more energy.
While sitting at the breakfast table in the Kathmandu hotel, I again observe my breathing: something has changed deep down, as breathing reflects changes in my consciousness due to the realizations that came to me early morning. This time of the day, if we are able not to sleep, may be very useful for us. At pre-dawn time, when the sun has not risen and the moon has not landed, both hemispheres of the brain are in harmony. At this time of the day, peace and tranquility reign.
Put your hand on the upper part of your chest, below the recess in the neck, and make several inhales and exhales through the nose so that you would feel how your hand ascends – descends; the exhale should be longer than the inhale. It is very important to maintain your breathing “as smooth as butter”, without sharp “abruptions” at top of the inhale and at the bottom of the exhale, without any impediments. The exhale should be longer than the inhale with the focus not on thoughts, but on sensation of our body and breathing. Stay in the sensation, not in the thinking about breathing! After making five such breathing cycles (inhale +exhale) you will perceive that: you feel yourself deeper, reposed, self-composed. It is essential not to overdo and run to extremes. Otherwise, you might end up not in the peace of mind and relaxation, but strain. Breathwork requires your awareness.
Open up your mouth as if you were trying to have a bite out of a big apple, and remain with your mouth open. With your mouth wide open, make some breaths through your mouth. Breathe in the same way when you breathe after running - in short, shallow, yet rather intensive breaths in and out. After several such breaths, I believe, you will feel like yawning. Yarn sincerely, as do young children – allowing your jaw to open up in full. Then proceed breathing in the same fashion - with your open mouth, making short, rather intensive breaths in and out, and again yawn sincerely. If you have a feeling that yawing seems to become stuck and you may not complete a full yawn, do nothing forcefully. Repeat one more series of the breaths in and out mentioned above, and a way will open up for yawing to come out of your body. Yawing is the release of tension by your body. Your body may release yawning only after it is relaxed by the breathing, what may be achieved by the breathing technique mentioned above. The jaw is one of the strongest muscles in the body that “shuts down” and “compresses”, like a steel gate, emotions and feelings in different parts of your body. That is why I gave the instruction to open up your mouth as if intending to have a bite out of a big apple. This is for a very good reason. When I ask participants of the seminar to open up their mouths, sometimes they open up their mouth to the extent we open the doors for a stranger – just barely... that is how locked the jaw is... After yawning in this way you will feel an unusual freedom in the area of your face, as well as in your internal space.
We are waiting for boarding a plane heading to Lhasa. When I shifted my attention on it, my breathing showed that it is already in the state of “taking-off” – the inhale became similar to the plane with started engines ready for a flight – more active, free. It is interesting to explore your breathing. In the first instance, it is possible to harmonize it by noticing what there is too much in it, as well as to find out about your emotional, psychological status, which one usually does not perceive consciously. Listen to your breathing!
Now we have returned from Tibet to Nepal, Kathmandu. All members of the group have successfully made their Kora – a 53 km-long pilgrimage trip which the highest point was 5,600 m. Time and again some members of the group were forced to step beyond their limits of perseverance! For me, this was the fourth Kailash Kora… I will describe more adventures and experiences later. Currently, I am sitting in a cafe in Kathmandu, have some juice, look into the gloomy sky that will soon pour down in a monsoon shower. I observe the modern world I have been withdraw from for 2 weeks. No doubt, I pay attention to my breathing that is currently calm, all-embracing …
It is 04:20 in the morning in Nepal. Still in bed, I breathe: my fingers are freely clasped and put on the solar plexus. I breathe through the nose with my solar plexus. My attention listens to the sound of the air flowing through the nose. It is very important observe whether the sound of breathing does not get too tense. May your breathing be soft, gentle, free, and its sound is heard in the nose too. After several such inhales – exhales, you will instinctively want to make a deeper exhale or a sigh. Do this, and again continue breathing in such pattern until you make 30 such inhales-exhales. You will feel a pleasant relaxation. Lay down quietly for 1-2 minutes. Inside yourself, you will feel poised before the upcoming day, more quiet mind staying in healthy balance.
For the evening (here, in Kathmandu, is already dusk), I have chanted AUM several times in the hotel room. The sound AUM refers to the primordial sound of creation of Universe. As it is written in the Holy Script – “In the beginning was the Word”. We utter sounds with an open mouth, of course. The sound is produced in the throat rather than in the mouth. We open our months wider than usual. Converging the sounds blend into each other like the colours of the rainbow. When uttering the sound A, we place our attention in the stomach region, and the sound A seems to evolve from the abdominal centre. Then we smoothly proceed to continuing the sound U, our attention at that time is shifted to the centre of the chest, and the sound U seems to evolve from the centre of the chest, feel that. When saying the last sound M, we are with our focus in the centre of the head. Continue chanting as long as you can stay comfortable. Connected chanting of all the three sounds should be followed by a pause for several seconds, void of any sound, breath, a halt. Then again start from the sound A and proceed in the very same manner. After chanting AUM for several times, you might feel like yawning – have a yawn, as this is the sign that you become relaxed. Chant the sounds AUM 20 times, and you will get a feeling of reassurance and relaxation. It is best to do this with an open voice, i.e. when you are at ease. Good chanting and good evening!
An effort is like an eggshell: if it is too thick and hard, a chicken will not get out, i.e. the result will not happen, or it will come later. If an effort is too weak, a chicken will also not be able to come out from such an egg – it will not survive. An effort – is a form that protects and guarantees the birth of a result. I realized all that by simply listening to my breathing – if an effort to inhale is too strong, breathing remains compressed, if it is too weak – breathing may not unfold its potential. The way we breathe, the way we live, emotionally and psychologically - either by not allowing ourselves to act, or by acting much below our potential.
Do what pleases your heart and brings joy to other people (I have in mind something else than food, sleep or sex) – keep on doing this, and you will immerse yourself into something completely new in your life. You have heard many stories about “unperceived talents” who probably waited until they will be “understood” or, “appreciated”. Do not way until you will become acknowledged, but continually prove that yourself to the world – with your life, actions, works, and keep on doing that. There, new opportunities will start appearing in your life. You will come to the zone of new opportunities in your life. If we make the right choices, opportunities increase, if we make bad choices - they decrease, and we feel squeezed into a corner.
Over there, where you currently are, become self-aware and self-observant just for a minute. Do nothing with what you feel inside yourself – fear, pain. Do nothing with our breathing, do not control it. Do not resist anything… Do not resist. Our biggest problem is that we resist our destiny … this moment and that place where we currently are… For a minute, let go of any resistance. Observe yourself from the side, being self-aware, yet not changing anything… What will happen will be an all-encompassing vibration evolving from the depth of the heart – a perception of mercy, forgiveness, affection, and the realization that you are in the right place at the right time. Besides, knowing or understanding what you have to do will come up. Patience will appear, as well as everything else …what is necessary… Breathing will become freed spontaneously! When we do not resist anything...
Sit up at ease with your back straight. Feel that you are breathing, and feel the heart centre in the centre of your chest. Focus your attention calmly and patiently on the centre of your heart and maintain a peaceful breath rhythm at the same time. Start feeling at the beginning just physical sensations in the centre of your chest. Then, become conscious of them while keeping your inner peace. In other words, if you feel pain, do nothing, do not shy away from it. In daily life, a person runs away from negative emotions in order not to feel them, but these emotions do not disappear from our body, i.e. they are only pushed into the realm of unconscious awareness from where they start impacting us already automatically, without our awareness. Now, sitting and breathing in this manner, start feeling all such emotions embedded in your heart one after another. Maybe it will seem to you that this is fear or a sense that somebody pursues or chases you and that you cannot make it in time. Or maybe this will be an unpleasant feeling that you are no good, fail often to do what you should do, etc. By becoming aware of all the feelings, breathe peacefully and keep on “feeling and breathing at the same time”. Being in that state, already in a minute or so, you will feel that these feelings and sensations will start to fade away gradually. Like the sun in the morning, an internal perception will spring up that all these negative sensations may be melted down and replaced by security and love in a very simple way – by making a connection with everything what is sacred for you – prayer, internal relationship with a sacred man, spiritual teacher… Now, do this right away – focus your attention on the things spiritually most sacred for you by breathing peacefully and becoming aware of the feelings in your heart. Maybe this is a sacred book that you have seen or a place where you have been, or maybe this is a moment during the religious rite remained vividly engrained in your memory. In other words, remember the spiritual, not material experience that is precious for you. Remember the moments from the repetition of prayer words in your life. And already now you will feel that all negative sensations in your heart gradually melt away somewhere … They are melted down by a spiritual connection. What about starting doing this more often – directing your attention in your daily life to your heart, breathing, the internal spiritual bond…
When you again and again act unconsciously, driven by negative emotions, and after everything is over you get a feeling of regret followed by hopelessness that “again you acted improperly” and now feel as if you are no good for anything and not worth anything – do not become disheartened! May this bitter taste of the experience automatically trigger the perception which, on its own turn, develops in you an ability … – to Forgive. May such an experience help you understand how much you hold in your sub-consciousness that “opens up” as if a Pandora box after someone from the outside presses a “button”. This perception will help understand other people who appeared in similar situations. After that, a moment will come up when you will forgive “someone” who “when a moment comes once again” will “press” a button of your Pandora box.... And, magic… - the chain of shacking reactions will come to an end, as you will not react, but will forgive. This way you will have mastered one of the N lessons you have to learn upon coming here… The more you react to something, the bigger potential of liberation and recovery inheres in your consciousness behind that…
Continuously develop, train your habit to observe your breathing. For example, once again, you have succumbed to one of the negative emotional conditions - you reacted to something. Even though you are sufficiently conscious and are able not to respond with spontaneous counteractions, nevertheless you feel an emotional fluctuation inside yourself. Start listen to your breathing. Principally, you simply have to start feeling your body, the way it moves while breathing. It is essential - do not to think about breathing, but feel breathing with your body. Then start doing what you usually do not do routinely – routinely, you constantly supress your breathing with some particular place of your body, some particular muscle, as you probably do not feel it, like you do not feel where you strain, stop your breathing. Now, however, feeling your body and being aware of your breathing, let your breathing “flow” freely along your body. You will gradually want to sigh spontaneously – this way you relax the muscles you kept compressed at the time when emotions were rising up inside. You keep them compressed, as your mind negatively assesses the arising emotions. When you allow breathing to flow without stopping it, not compressing it, the arising emotions flow through, and the realization comes up why you have been exposed to such a situation, or you may even figure out of what past behaviour this consequence is. That what we become aware of does not come back to us as negative experience.
It is highly valuable to develop modesty. It is possible to “elbow your way”, but in any case, a great risk arises to lose all the gained merits due to pride, and then again find yourself even further away from where you wanted to get to. In case of modesty, internal integrity and the best possible arrangement of events are preserved.
Wisdom of a guide in Jaipur: “Good wife or bad wife, she is still my wife”. We, westerners, are quite distant from such an attitude towards our destiny… If wife is bad, it is necessary to abandon her; if husband is bad –to divorce him, if parents are bad – not to communicate with them, etc. This is the same, though, as to avoid your reflection in a mirror or water… Maybe someone of you remembers a cartoon when a little bear was afraid to go across the bridge over a creek, as it was afraid of “the one who lived in the creek”, i.e. his reflection that he saw looking down into the water. Our family members is the return of destiny to us for our actions in the distant or nearer past. They probably know that in India by saying “Whether good or bad, she is still my wife”.
What would happen and how would you breathe if your mind, thoughts, heart and feelings are devoid of the slightest hint of anxiety and fear? Can you breathe in this way – fearlessly – make at least one inhale? Can you inhale one more time? Can you make a third, fourth breath? How many breaths can you make in this fashion by maintaining a sense of fearlessness, freedom inside yourself? Can you make several breaths as an eternal, free being? Soul?
Make ten inhales- exhales in this manner. Breathe in and breathe out through the nose by retaining a sense of fearlessness, eternity. What will happen after ten such breaths?
Please, share your insights how you felt and what your current attitude to real life situations is, how decision-making has changed, probably…
Could you remember to breathe in this fashion more often?
This way we will gradually start changing the pattern of our breathing. When we are afraid, our breathing is constrained. When we are fearless, our breathing is liberated.
As you read these lines, shift your attention to your chest, its upper part. Do not think, but feel. Start breathing consciously, feeling and being aware that you breathe, through the nose, by making slightly longer than usual breaths in and out. By keeping breathing in this fashion, already after several breaths you will start realizing your feelings and emotions inside your chest in a new light or more clearly. Make ten more such breaths in the similar pattern. Although you will not release all those feelings after such short breathing, you will realize easier how much you have accumulated and hold in your chest. Having sensed that maybe you will have a desire to pay more attention to your deeper internal emotional cleansing and relaxation – maybe you will decide to start running in the morning, or have a walk in the evening before going to bed. The deepest relaxation is achieved during an hour-long full breathing session.
Among the most interesting things for me is to observe my breathing when I, like now, “involuntarily” have some free time. I have probably discussed about that more than once. Someone may say – how many times can you repeat the same? But, as you know, each time I observe breathing, it appears to be different and, accordingly, continues to reveal still new things. The state of a person also changes every moment depending on one’s emotional, psychological background, as well as on the moment of time, because every moment is changing and irreversible, on the astrological moment – the position of stars in the sky, and on a number of other factors. Therefore, do not stop observing your breathing. Thus, make an inhale from the internal space of your heart, allow your heart to breathe. Make 5-6 breaths in and out in a peaceful even pattern, and you will sense unique properties of your heart, you will better perceive them as if from the side. Think about what you have felt, meditate on that.
Accept everything, accept everything what is going on, but accept not only with the thought “I accept, accept”. This will be to no avail, as your mind will nevertheless resist, fight. Inhale the word “accept” at the time of inhale and release the word “I accept” at the time of exhale, letting your breathing to flow evenly and peacefully through the nose. Keep on doing this, become aware of your body, its reactions. You will feel that your body starts to open up, to let in the word “I accept”, and simultaneously, from the inside, will start to release a particular emotion that has been quenched by your muscles and held back until now. This may be your stubbornness, fight, failure to see the reality through your egoism, or something else what you have been holding. After that – you will feel that when you actually accepted, an opening-up, forgiveness, and a much broader and deeper understanding of the same situation came down, and, as the result – a decision. It will be different from open anger or supressed resentment inside yourself. This decision will be the result of your inner growth, therefore will benefit your and other people.
You may breathe the word “I accept” not only by accepting the situation involving the participation of other persons (see below, XIX). It is possible to breathe this word by accepting yourself. Breathing through the nose, say in your internal space “I accept myself”, necessarily keeping attention on your breathing and body, not on thoughts. Exhaling, continue to say for yourself in your internal space “I accept myself”, at the same time sensing the reactions of your body and staying in breathing with your attention. Make about ten such inhales – exhales. What will happen? Calmer, “sober” thoughts about yourself will emerge. If you were proud of yourself until that time, maybe you will feel that you as if “got real” or “put yourself in the right place”. If you underappreciated yourself, you will feel that you calmed down and are ready to continue your works and plans self-composedly, without looking around, not comparing yourself with others, or being envious of others, i.e. your self-worth will become more adequate. The Vedic philosophy claims that it is very difficult to evaluate yourself, as a person may justify any action by all kinds of overt and hidden ways. Whereas the correct evaluation of us may be made only by the teacher, i.e. a wise person looking at us from the side. In modern life, where there is no teacher nearby, also this breathing technique may be used. It will drop off the unnecessary false lustre of haughtiness and crushing stones of self-deprecation, and will give you a clearer vision of reality, as well as will ease your mind.