In our home, one break in the electricity system will cut off everything. If the current can’t complete it’s circuit the lights – and everything else – just won’t work.
What if our Prana, Life Force, or Qi operates the same way?
So if as some say, we are spiritual beings that temporarily inhabit human form, what are the breaks in our circuitry which forbid us happy, healthy lives?
This reminds me of a story some ten years ago: I was driving around New Jersey trying to find someone to take a blood sample I had to send overseas. I needed a particular test that could not be done in the US, but I couldn’t find a lab that would take my blood and give me the sample to take away with me. They would only do the job if I let them analyse it. But being as they were not equipped for the test I needed, they refused to take my blood.
As I had to send the blood by Fedex and had to meet a deadline, I became frustrated and despondent. It seemed ridiculous that I couldn’t buy the service I needed – especially in North America!
I had less than two hours left and sat in my car in the rain wondering what to do.
I had my phone in my hand and decided to ask my phone for advice.
‘Where can I get my blood taken?’ I asked, not expecting a result.
The phone quickly showed a list of doctors, and I called the first one.
A polite lady came to my aid.
‘Yes sir we can do that for you!’ She chirped.
I asked directions and as she gave them to me I noticed I was parked right outside their front door. Things were looking up.
I dashed inside and filled out my forms.
I was told to wait until the doctor was free as he was in a telephone call with a patient.
I waited a whole hour for him, partly impressed by how much time he devoted to one patient over the telephone, but also frustrated as I was going to miss the deadline for FedEx.
Eventually I was called in to meet Dr Sighal, a small cherubic Indian man with a wide smile.
He sat me down, and as he drew the blood he joked: “As I am taking something from you, what is there that I can give you in return?”
“A dose of health and happiness?” I quipped, and to my great surprise he turned to the side of his desk, opened a drawer and took out a book entitled ‘How to Have Health and Happiness Now’.
“This is for you,” he said, with a wide smile. I was deeply touched by his care and his generosity and took the signed book with me.
On a return trip to the US a couple of months later I went to visit the good doctor again, this time to interview him. By this time I had read most of the book.
One of my questions was: “How can you sustain happiness over a period of time when the world is in such a terrible state of conflict and suffering?”
His answer was simple: “The same way you maintain a healthy immune system. Good exercise, good thoughts, paying proper attention and developing presence.”
Simple, yet challenging!
Yet if we would invest just a little more time to connect our circuitry, perhaps we could achieve a different result?
Imagine a belt laid out on the table in front of you. Let’s assume the left most end represents our highest awareness or most subtle energy. You could call it spirit, or spiritual awareness too if you wish.
At the opposite end we see it’s opposite, which would be density. This could be understood as our physical form. Although we are mostly made out of space, we are dense enough to be seen and touched.
Using Breathwork we can feel the experience of breathing in life force or spirit (in-spire) with each inhale.
What we are doing during a session when we connect the breath, is joining that which is most subtle to that which is most dense. We are bringing spirit (most subtle energy) into the body (most dense energy).
Now if we return to the belt lying on the table and pick up each end, then join them together, we have taken what used to be a continuum and made it into a circuit. Now the energy can flow, and the circuit is complete.
In our breathwork practice this is exactly what we are doing: we are reaching up to the highest vibrations of spirit and joining them with the body, and deeper still into the subconscious.
One of the assertions of quantum physics is that where there is uncertainty there is possibility. And in a Breathwork session, as we learn to embrace uncertainty, we are also opening to a realm of possibility we could refer to as miraculous. Let me give an example.
A couple came to one of my group sessions. There were about twenty people for the experience, and after an explanation for the newcomers, we began.
They were from Northern Europe, married for thirty years and well into their sixties. He was clearly not too willing to be there. It seemed to me that his wife had dragged him along – my subsequent inquiry and his grumpy reply confirmed it.
Still, they laid down side by side and we entered the session.
I was impressed with the way the man breathed. His endeavour surprised me. His wife breathed softly and steadily, but he used his frustration to push forward, and he breathed with robust will and determination.
Halfway through the session, as the music softened and became more spacious, his breathing eased and I could see he had entered into deep reflection. He told me afterward he could not even remember the last time in his life that he had cried, but in this session, his tears flowed freely, his body shuddered with emotions that had not flowed for him in decades.
As the end of the hour arrived he reached over to his wife and told her that he loved her.
She, in turn, cried at his opening and told me later that he had never told her such a thing before in all their marriage.
These types of stories are common amongst my groups, and in my opinion, are a direct result of embracing spirit through the breath and bringing it into the body. The conscious connected breath reunites many things that we have considered separate, most of all our relationship with ourselves.
When I think of someone cutting off his emotional circuitry because he is afraid of getting hurt, I remember that story and sometimes even tell it. When we are that bound it doesn’t seem possible that life could be another way. We feel that our brittle strength is protecting us from harm. Isn’t it a miracle, that as dripping water will wear down the hardest granite, that something as soft as the breath can dissolve false protection and reveal who we really are underneath?
What moves me even more is that this man, who I see occasionally, has become softer and more present. The result? Everyone else who carries the burden he has learned to release can see him as an example of what’s possible.
Each of you that is committed to your own healing becomes a lighthouse for those that are lost in stormy seas, just by virtue of being who you are.
That is the Alchemy of Breath; that we can change the world around us – from inside out.
I had always been prepared as a parent to learn from my children. I am thrilled now to know that my grandchildren are every bit as much as my teachers too!