Drinking The Ecstasy of the Breath
Once we discover that we are a part of a never-ending ebb and flow of universal energy, that is neither created nor destroyed, but merely fluctuates between states of various densities – from solid mass to the consciousness residing in sentient beings – then we can begin to interact with the world in a completely different, much more intimate way.
When we see the secret power of energy, vitality, and life-force (that secret which the ancients were obsessed with), we see the world with completely renewed eyes. We seek to revitalize ourselves so we can interact and engage with the world more fully, rather than constantly depleting our vital reserves.
The Challenge of the Modern Man
The modern era is so much faster paced and demanding than ever before. Stress levels are higher than ever. Many of us are living with a certain level of chronic stress, anxiety or nervous tension. The modern man and women need more energy to perform their optimum and stay caught up, however, modern lifestyle usually leads to a depletion of energy and exhausting our vital reserves.
Most the food being consumed is processed, overly cooked, devoid of vitality, and often times containing harmful additives and preservatives.
Most of the time set aside for regeneration is spent with over stimulating our senses with entertainment devices of every sort.
The Secret of ‘The Breath’
So what is man to do? Retreat into the forest and live on nuts and berries? Hardly. The answer is quite closer to you than you may think. It’s as simple as in the way you breath. By training yourself to breath consciously and willfully you will be able to diffuse stress and tension in moments, and begin to breath new life into your health, relationships and general quality of life.
When we begin playing and dancing with the breath, rather than abandoning it, we have entered the threshold of an deeply intimate interaction with life. Rather than allowing your mind to take you for a roller coaster ride, you can manage your mind to focus on the thoughts that make you the happiest and create the reality that is most fulfilling.
Pages and pages can be written on breathing techniques, breathwork, pranayama, tantric brain breathing, rebirthing breathing, etc., and I look forward to writing more on these topics in the future; however, it doesn’t need to be made so complicated. It’s as simple as learning to be with your breath. Be with your joy and be with your suffering. Do not hide or run away from what you are feeling. Rather, embrace it. Only then can you understand it and help that aspect of yourself to heal. The breath is the vehicle for developing a loving relationship with your self.
Conscious Breathing is Equivalent to Conscious Evolving
With learning to be with the breath comes greater self-awareness in every aspect of your life. You quickly learn to identify where you habitually hold nervous in your body, and how to manage your emotions and state of mind with conscious breathing.
You are more present and alert. Conscious breathing re energizes the body, draws a greater volume of oxygen into the lungs and blood, nourishing and cooling down the brain.
When one engages with the breath consciously brain activity switches from the most primitive regions to the frontal lobe, which is the most modern and highly evolved region of the brain responsible for critical thinking, emotional intelligence, problem solving, memory, and all the aspects of our personality. This can be considered scientific evidence that conscious breathing promotes a more decisive, calculated and proactive response, rather than a more primitive reaction such as the urge to ‘fight or flight’.
Taming the Fight or Flight Response
The fight or flight response is executed by the autonomous nervous system. This part of your nervous system is responsible for certain things like increasing heart rate, changing the breathing patterns, and tensing the muscles throughout the body in preparation for pending doom.
In modern society the source of our daily threats are often much more complicated than for our species in the not-so-distant past. It is not always clear when the source of our dangers has passed. With the markets crash? Will my currency fail? Will I get laid off due to economic conditions? Many of us live with a certain level of this uncertainty every day of our lives. And our nervous system does its job by keeping you ready by increasing Adrenalin, tensing muscles and modifying the breath.
When we begin breathing consciously we tune in not only to the breath, but also to the present moment, to our selves. We can then become aware of where we are holding tension in our body unknowingly, and then just let it go. As we continue this practice, it becomes a greater and greater part of our life. We begin to utilize every opportunity we can to cultivate awareness.
Playing with the breath!
So, begin to play with your breath. Do not take conscious breathing too seriously or you will lose interest, and your breath will lose interest as well! Play with your breath. Treat it like a close friend. When you are feeling a strong emotional state, do not force your breathing to change, rather, be with your breath. Embrace your inner state of being.
The breath is one of the greatest and most powerful secrets of ancient mystical civilizations. The breath is directly related to life. Many ancient rituals utilized the power of blood through sacrifice. The blood sacrifice imparted vitality to the object of worship. This vital life force power was a central theme of importance. Fortunately we do not need to perform any blood sacrifices (call us new age), because the greatest way we can increase our vitality is through the quantity and quality of our breathing.
The Reward of Conscious Breathing is the Discovery of Your Self
Most people are not ready to tune into the breath, because they are not ready to claim their personal as the cause of their lives. They enjoy the roller coaster ride. And that is just fine. Conscious breathing doesn’t mean you are sitting on the sidelines, rather, it gives you an ejection seat to ‘bug out’ when you things are getting too much for you.
The benefits developed through breath awareness are really beyond description. Not only can you manage your own inner state, bot you can influence others as well. People in a group subconsciously regulate their breathing to match each other. This allows them to be in rapport with each other. People will usually modify their breath to who ever is the most long, calm and relaxed. By slowing down and breathing with life, you not only give yourself permission to be in the present moment, both you give those around you that opportunity as well.
So, take this advice and breath with your loved ones, your sexual partner, your friends and family. Breath with the morning sunrise, with your first bite of food. Breath with a gust of wind, or a gentle refreshing breeze from the sea. Give yourself permission to unleash the ecstasy that flows within each and every sensuous breath.