We are born, and for the first time, we inhale. We live most of our life breathing automatically, with no connection to our breath of life. And with our last exhalation, we die.
Since the earliest times, all the traditional teachings, worthy of this name, have focused on respiratory work and its effectiveness, in the fields of bodily, mental and emotional consciousness. We can live with a lung, a kidney, with a part of the liver removed, but without breathing, life is over. Life itself is breathing.
There are three basic ways to breathe;
- Breathing can be involuntary and unconscious,
- Voluntary so aware,
- Or involuntary conscious (you observe it without doing it).
Within the field of conscious and voluntarily controlled breathing , there are many different methods and here I leave your inner teacher to decide which is best for you. The Sufis have theirs, the yogis have theirs, the divers have theirs, the brokers have theirs; Although the breath of life is one, many ways to use it. That one tells you that his is better than the one of the other seems to me the domain of stupid egocentrism, but once again, only YOU can know; Only if YOU experience what one tells you, and compare it with other modes of breathing, which you have also practiced. Wisdom is acquired through direct experience, not through lectures or lectures.
As far as I like to experience, I am left with the conscious involuntary breathing, which I mix according to the moment, and the desired effect, with the conscious will, moment by moment.
This is very simple to understand, right now as you read these lines, you can begin to Inhale and exhale voluntarily, stop, hold your breath or prolong the inhalations and shorten the exhalations, etc.
But for what?
I think that if one is not aware of his breathing, he can not be aware of his tensions; The latter being the result of bad breath.
Breathing is not just a phenomenon that stops in the lungs; Expands to our entire body, to all the cells of our body, and beyond our body. Every millimeter of our being is breathing, so when one understands this phenomenon, he can begin to expand his own breath to his whole body, to all his magnetic field, and beyond …
If you are not aware of your breathing it is very difficult for you to know when something is tense, or when someone tenses you, or when words shrink you, or when feelings drown you. Conscious, voluntary, or just observed breathing, without conscious interference (the most complicated from my point of view), are the doors to bodily, mental, and emotional consciousness. And if you are able to consciously regulate your breathing moment by moment, you can also regulate both your emotional reactions and your reactions to the thoughts.
According to Chinese medicine , emotions are energy in motion . If one of the internal organs functions in an unbalanced way, the repercussions on our emotions would be direct, and of course our mind and our body would function in a different way than if they were balanced.
Breathing allows you to help clean internal energy stagnations, and regulate the functioning of the unit body, mind, life force.
Some time ago I found an excellent book on all the conscious work on breathing and tensions, and I say excellent because the people who have developed it are exposed to extreme situations, both physiological and psychological; The book is entitled “Let every Breath …”, secret of the Russian Breath masters, Vladimir Vasiliev. Leave every breath … the secret of the Russian masters of breath. Breathing well in a quiet, natural environment, without anyone, or from a forest, or near the sea, or in the mountains, is one thing; Breathing well in the daily chaos of life is something else. The practices in this book are a gold mine to refine your inner knowledge, and you only need yourself, your direct environment and your breathing.
Another interesting inspiration I encountered a year ago, and of which I practiced the basic method of ten weeks, is “the Wim Hof method”; Its motto is, “Be strong, healthy and happy.” His method is a mixture of breathing work with yoga asanas , and cold water dives. It works, and is widely used by thousands of people from many different backgrounds who want to improve their daily lives, both physically, mentally and emotionally. If it is true that we are all Buddhas, not all of us are able to fully develop it; And many times, only for lack of daily practice continues, moment by moment.
Osho said that the path to oneself began first by the awareness of the body, once one had the root, passed to the observation of the mind, which later led to work on the emotions. I totally agree with him, if one does not have contact with his body I see very complicated, if not impossible, that I can feel the result of a thought, or an emotion on his cells. How many times do you have a stuffy or dripping nose, and you do not relate this to the person who literally “rubbed your nose” the day before? Or suddenly you meet someone, you talk to him or her, and when you go you feel emptied, or emptied, and you do not relate it to the “vampirization” of which you have just been the subject? If your being is strong, you will feel all these inner signs, but they will not disturb you. Our body is the antenna that allows us to feel what is happening to us at all levels, and for this we have it and that it is important that we tune our mind and our heart with it, but we pass through life like a zombie; Disconnected from what is at this very moment.
Some people want to live without pain and it is very easy, as a friend often said to their students, only all the glands need to be removed from the body. Suffering is inherent in human life, and whether it is physical, emotional, or psychic, we have to be human, and one has to learn to live with it in the best possible way, moment by moment. Although we would like paradise as some people tell us, it has never existed on this planet, and seeing the panorama of today, I doubt very much that there is a day, neither here nor there. It is a dream that leaves many totally asleep, for the economic interests of others; That these interests are religious, economic, philosophical or political.
If hell is on this planet there is also paradise, and the only way to tune in to one or the other depends on each of us; The key to this encounter is hidden within each and every one of us, and is called the breath of life, or breath.
The good thing about this key is that it does not cost anything, is constantly carried with oneself and does not need special space or specific tool; Is always available by hand. So enjoy it.