Category Archives: Immortality

Rejuvenate Yourself with Breathwork

Standard

Breath is what is called a primary pattern, meaning it’s one of the first things a child does when he or she is born. Your whole body responds to the air that you bring in through your lungs, not just your chest, and oxygen is the most vital nutrient your body requires.

While you can live without food and water for days, possibly months, you will survive for a mere four minutes, six at best, without air. Your breath is the interface between voluntary movement and the more passive activities of your organs because it can be somewhat controlled by conscious effort. But, when we let go with our attention, breath continues to flow into our tissues and feed our cells.

Sadly, many people have forgotten how to breathe. Fear, worry, and stress contract the tissues around the rib cage and bring in only a small amount of air, just barely enough to maintain basic functions. Some people teach that there is a “proper” way to breathe, for meditation, yoga, tai chi, qi gong, relaxation, labor, etc.

It’s easy to learn a breath pattern that serves a particular activity and then to get stuck there indefinitely. These patterns, which at first liberate us from our own neurological rut, transform into a prison with no alternatives. When you have one choice, you have a prison, two choices is a dilemma, and having three choices equals adaptability. We’re striving for adaptability.

Breath is a powerful tool, and when you develop awareness of your own pattern, you can alter it to accompany sports, change your emotions, increase or decrease muscular tension, activate your organs, strengthen your singing or speaking voice, and to support or change the curvature of your spine. And you thought breath just oxygenated your blood! By working with the flow of breath in your body, you basically go beneath all the harmful and damaging movement patterns you’ve learned throughout your life and reset your body in a neutral place. This is, of course, a process and a practice; however, for profound physical and emotional changes, there is no greater lever than breath work.

Your ribs function much like Venetian blinds that hang in a window. If you’ve ever looked at a skeleton, you’ll notice that the rib bones are flat and wide, not round like most people assume. In a living body, the ribs – actually, all bones – are flexible, soft, and pliable. Unfortunately, science studies dead bodies that are devoid of fluid, so we mistakenly think of bones as dried up, rock hard structures. The reality is quite the contrary! In fact, even in dried bone, if the bone is chipped or broken in half, you will see a honeycomb of very fragile calcium strata that looks like a delicate beehive.

Living bone is more like a sponge than a rock. Yes, it’s more stable than muscle or connective tissue, but our bones, like the rest of our body, hold a lot of fluid in them. This allows your bones to adjust to breath and other subtle rhythms within the body. As you inhale, your whole body should open up and go into external rotation (palms moving outward, legs rotating away from the hips, spine extending – imagine a starfish reaching outward with all five arms), and as you exhale, your body should subtly reverse the movement, coming inward towards the fetal position.

Did you know that everywhere you have ribs, you also have lung space? You have just as much rib bone in your back as you do in the front of your body, therefore, you also have just as much availability for breath and movement in your back.

The primary muscle to initiate breath should be the diaphragm; however, most people are unaware of how their diaphragms function. It is a large, dome shaped muscle that spans your costal arch (the front, lower part of your ribs, where your abdomen begins). As you inhale, the dome flattens downward, toward your feet, pulling air into the chest cavity. When you exhale, the muscle relaxes and is pulled back up towards the sky, pressing air out of your lungs.

Breathing rhythms are too small to notice most of the time. They are overshadowed by the greater vibrations in our world – cars, music, chatting on the telephone. We rarely pause long enough to pay attention to our breathing, and equally as dangerous, when we do pay attention, we are usually trying to control and manipulate it rather than allow it to flow naturally and fully. Breath should move organically to release blockages of tension and negative emotion that have been stored in the body.

Trying too hard to control the breath can result in pain, discomfort, or reduced range of motion if you become fixated in one type of breath work. Try the following exercises to begin. monitoring your breathing. I find it easiest to do this while lying down, but you can also sit in a chair if that’s more comfortable. Allow your breath to flow in and out of your body in a natural rhythm. You may be surprised to discover that you take in very little air! That’s okay, don’t try to change anything just yet.

- Notice whether you pause after you inhale or exhale or if you just keep on breathing.

- Do you feel your breath more in your chest or your stomach?

- Does your stomach rise or drop inward toward your spine as you inhale?

- Can you feel your diaphragm pulling downward toward your feet as you breathe in?

- Spend a little time focusing on your diaphragm and imagining the large dome flattening out when you inhale, resuming its dome-like shape as you exhale.

- Do you feel movement in any other areas of your body when you breathe, such as your spine, hands, feet, arms, legs, or even your head?

- Do you have more breath in the front of your body or the back of your body?

- Begin to explore the edges of the shape of your breath. For example, if you feel your breath makes a narrow tube down the center of your body, start feeling where the edges of the tube exist. How far down does it travel? Breathe into the edges as you explore.

The simple act of noticing your breath will begin to shift the pattern. Don’t try too hard! That negates the purpose of the exercise.

Here’s dessert:  a guided meditation to help improve your breathing.

Today’s blog is by Seattle, Washington’s Sukie Baxter, Holistic Arts Practitioner and Wellness Consultant. Sukie helps clients achieve amazing mental, physical, and emotional vitality. To learn how to rejuvenate your body and soul using natural health strategies that get real results, register for her free weekly articles at http://www.SukieBaxter.com.  Thanks Sukie!!

 

Breath Language

Standard

As long as we are still alive, the way we are breathing right now is the right way for us right now, and we can learn from it!

As the freedom of our breath is restrained by the experiences we have repressed, our breath is teaching us about our state of consciousness.

Breath is a language that expresses itself through the location of the breath in the body, breathing sounds, and breath rhythms.  For example, when the breath is rapid and high in the chest, it is frequently communicating about grief and fear; when in the middle of the chest, it is about anger, when pulled into the belly in a ceratin way, it tells about feelings pushed away as far as possible.

Our breath language tells us when we are “activated”. In life, and in breathwork sessions, we are activated when our repressed experiences and their related suffering are brought to consciousness and we think and react under their influence rather than behaving autonomously.

A breathwork session will activate past suffering and bring it to consciousness for integration.  The breather arrives at insight into the cause of the problem at vision with regard to its solution.  Breathwork sessions may be individual, accompanied by a professional breathworker, or take place in groups led by professional breathworkers.

The pattern of a breathwork session is ACTIVATION, INTEGRATION, INSIGHT, VISION. This pattern can be repeated several times during the same session.

At the end of a breathwork session, once the breath has done its work, it is likely to completely fill our physical body and our energy bodies.  Then we breathe in from below our feet, take our breath above our head, and let it go like a wave, down to below our feet.  This breath is about transcendental harmony.

by Joy Manne, from her book “Conscious Breathing”.

Words from Breathwork’s Founder

Standard

 

Intelligent Energy

by Leonard Orr

Energy becomes what it thinks about. This is the most basic truth about Life. If you really understand these words, you are spiritually enlightened. Energy becomes what it thinks about. Energy is the Source of all things. Energy is Infinite Being, the Eternal Spirit; Energy is Substance. Energy is God. But Energy is evenly distributed throughout space and time. It just exists and doesn’t do anything. Energy just is! However, thinking is a quality of Energy and moves Energy. When Energy becomes impregnated by thought, Energy organizes Itself into the form directed by the thought – which may be a physical thing. Energy naturally becomes what it thinks about. Energy directed by thought can materialize into physical things, social realities, or personal feelings and spiritual abilities. There is only one Energy in the universe, but there can be any number of thinking centers of this energy. All thinkers share the same Energy. We are all activity centers in the same Energy. We are thinking centers in the same One Being. We create our own reality, we share the reality which others create, and we become aware of the reality which the Ultimate Thinking Center of Energy has created. We usually call it Nature or God. We are the director of this Energy and so is everyone else, but there is a greater original Creator who has created a very big universe for us to play in. We each create our own reality within this big game and we try to successfully interact with the Big Creator and other people’s creation, but we also have, given to us by our family tradition and conditioning from our parents, a whole package of created things. To the extent that we are recreating our parents’ reality, we have to learn to choose it or un-create it in order to be free. We begin absorbing our parents feelings, thoughts, and manifested realities when we are in the womb. By the time we become enlightened and accept our creative power, we have a whole repertoire of feelings, beliefs, habits, and realities to work with. We can stay stuck with them or we can change them. To heal the emotional mind we received from our family is called spiritual liberation. This seems to take a lifetime for people to successfully do, but we cannot succeed at all if we do not start the process of self healing. And our chances of success are determined by the quality of principles and practices which we use.

Thought

We begin by passing judgement upon each thought as it flows through our consciousness. Selecting a mantra and working with it constantly is the perhaps the most efficiently way to upgrade the quality of our thoughts and feelings. A good mantra should focus our Energy on the realization of our natural divinity. It will liberate us from negative thoughts, feelings, and realities. It will enable us to create what we like and consciously choose. It will make it easier to master our life. We can also upgrade the quality of our thoughts by studying the great Scriptures like the Bhagavad Gita, the Bible, The Devi Bhagavatam, and especially the Shiva Purana which is the most complete picture of human divine potential as well as inspiration and practices to achieve it.

Water

Bathing twice per day cleans the energy body which is our mind in action. Daily bathing is an infinitely valuable spiritually powerful practice. We cannot survive in this world with all kinds of “energies” flying around us every day without the spiritual purification practice of daily bathing. Without bathing, we become more polluted and our body becomes stiffer until we can no longer function in this world and we die to get out of the world. Water purification keeps us alive. It makes Life more pleasurable and gives us greater power and mastery. Drinking good water is also water purification.

Earth

Diet is also important. The lighter food we eat, the more Life Energy we have. The human body and energy system was not designed to process meat according to the oldest Scriptures – The Shiva Purana – as well as modern science. The popular practice of eating meat kills more people than alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs combined. Having a personal exercise system is also important. And having a career that we love and enables us to win the money game is also a part of earth mastery. Receiving body massages and listening to good music are also earth disciplines.

Air

We have to learn the ability to breathe energy as well as air. Intuitive energy breathing, often called Rebirthing, is one of the most important skills of spiritual liberation.

Fire

Fire purification is also very important. Water, Earth, Air, and Fire are the eternal qualities of this Infinite Energy. Learning the spiritual power of fire and using it on a daily basis is a healing practice that is essential to human health and aliveness. Fire purification keeps us alive. Fire can clean our energy body and help us maintain our physical body in health and joy. Fire can burn pain, tension, and disease out of the body. Exposure to an open flame is as important to human health as good food, exercise, energy breathing, daily bathing, and wholesome thoughts. Fire is magical and powerful. Fire is a physical quality of God that can clean us and heal us spiritually and physically.

Love

Love is also essential. Love is the subjective experience of Infinite Energy. To the extent that we feel love, we are tuned into our Divine Energy. Intelligent Energy creates with mind, earth, air, water, fire, and love. The basic idea of spiritual purification is to clean and balance our energy body often enough to keep it in joy and good working order so we can enjoy Life – so that we can embody and express this Infinite Energy in the world. Energy become what it thinks about. To the extent that we do daily spiritual practices with mind, water, earth, air, fire, and love, we move steadily on the path of spiritual liberation, personal freedom and power, and aliveness. To the extent that we neglect these fundamental qualities of our divine nature, we increase our emotional mud and lose our health and aliveness, our peace and joy of living. Without spiritual purification practices, our life urge becomes weaker, more dense, filled with darkness, and living becomes more difficult. Our body gets stiffer and stiffer. Religions that are not focused upon spiritual purification practices produce dead people. Without spiritual purification, people become sick and stiff like zombies. These dead zombies spread emotional energy pollution, sickness, and death to everyone they contact. Understanding these ideas is basic to living as Intelligent Energy. Energy is love and bliss and power. This Intelligent Energy has thought itself into earth, air, water, and fire. The Life of the universe as well as the human body is the intelligent and loving interplay between earth, air, water, and fire. From the standpoint of human existence, earth, air, water, and fire are the eternal qualities of God. Earth, air, water, and fire have to exist before you an have a human body as we know it. Therefore earth, air, water, and fire precede human beings. To have a conscious relationship to earth, air, water, and fire through simple daily spiritual practices with them is basic to realizing our potential as Intelligent Energy. I give you these fundamental thoughts out of love. For more information on these ideas, check out my books and tapes. I also give personal consultations over the phone as well as lectures, or trainings. You are invited to contact me at the following address or phone number:

Leonard Orr,
PO Box 1026,
Staunton, VA 24402,
USA phone: (+1) (540) 885-0551/fax -1230.

To go deeper into the subject of this article, here is a list of recommended titles:

  • Breaking the Death Habit – by Leonard Orr
  • Breath Awareness – by Leonard Orr
  • Fire – by Leonard Orr
  • The Healing Manual – by Leonard Orr
  • Adventures in Spiritual Mastery (CD) – by Leonard Orr
  • Personal Energy Management – by Leonard Orr
  • The Science of Personal Aliveness (tape) – by Leonard Orr
  • Ultimate Healers (tape) – by Leonard Orr
  • The Psychology & Enlightenment of Leonard Orr (tape) – by Leonard Orr
  • Ye are Gods – by Analee Skarin

Leonard Orr’s books & tapes as well as a selection of other very valuable materials are available for sale on this web site. Information about the Leonard Orr Training Center is available on this web site.