What if you are already enlightened, but just forgot? What if no amount of study and the accumulation of knowledge is only an obstacle to knowing that which is most important of all – yourself?
What we find as we breathe consciously, is that we begin to dis-cover parts of ourselves that lie under the surface. The surface is where society mostly engages, and there are many temptations and medications to keep our consciousness limited. But using the breath as a practice, we are first surprised with the awareness that is achieved by doing such a simple thing. Is it possible that by simply expanding the lungs and filling them richly with air that we can become more conscious?
Well, here are some things we already know: today in the 21st century, we intake about 60% of what we used to before the Industrial Revolution. Also the air we breathe is more polluted, and we sit in cars and other air ‘conditioned’ environments.
We also know that our brain needs 20-25% of our oxygen supply to function. In fact just a few minutes without it and we are brain dead. Putting these two bits of information together, it begs the question: ‘what if we increase oxygen supply to the brain? What would happen then?
The benefits of practicing breathwork every day, even for a few minutes on your own are huge. Why not try a short practice of 3 minutes of connected breaths through the mouth, first thing in the morning? To explore the unfolding within, I ask my students to begin our one-year training with this breath practice, incorporating the practice of doing a ten minute free-write afterwards – anything that comes through your fingers onto the page or the keyboard. Just keep writing. It doesn’t matter if you run out of things to write; just write blah blah blah until something else comes through. Then collect these entries, just like a fisherman draws in his net, because there is information that comes to you through a breath practice. There are messages that await your attention, and The Alchemy of Breath is an effective way to open to them. You may remember in our sessions together I use inquiry all the time. What is it that my body wants to say to me? If there is a message I need to receive, what might it be?
Underneath the fear we may feel there are other levels of emotion. Usually underneath Fear is Anger, and underneath Anger is Sadness, and finally, underneath Sadness is Love. That is the ocean that lies inside each one of us, that connects us. And although the journey to get there may be a solitary one, the unity and intimacy we all seek is in each of us already, waiting to be discovered by the Breath.