Conscious breathing is not complicated. You can do it all day, that would even be a very good idea, but it can also be very enlightening if you would do it one or two times a day for 15 minutes.
Jed McKenna on ‘Breathing’
“Actually, most people would function a lot more smoothly and easily a lot more of the time if they’d just learn to breathe correctly. Practically everyone restricts their breathing to the upper part of the lungs, so that the chest expands and not the belly.
“The result of this shallow breathing is that we operate in a perpetual panic mode, as if all of life was a fight-or-flight situation. This causes the mental state of dis-ease that we accept as normal and from which we seek escape through addictions and distractions.
“It disrupts our activity during the day and our rest at night. When we breathe into our entire lungs by expanding the diaphragm, we automatically create a mental state of composure and ease, which is then reflected in our environment.
“How telling is it that we are a society of people who don’t even know how to breathe? Hello? At what more basic level could we possibly fail? And what’s more than that, how telling is it that when we are made aware of this crippling flaw, most of us will do absolutely nothing to correct it because our vanity won’t allow us to expand our tummies?”
From: ‘Spiritual Incorrect Enlightenment’
How to breathe
I’m now going to tell you, as part of Integration, how to breathe consciously even though you think you know how.
Sit down at a place where you will not be disturbed. Make sure you’re comfortable. Do not lie down and do not sit on a bed, because a bed is automatically and unconsciously associated with ‘sleep’. Sit upright.
Make sure your breathing is constant. Inhalation should be as long as exhalation and the breathing should be continuous. ‘Continuous breathing’ means that you do not hold your breath after inhaling and do not pause between exhaling and inhaling.
Breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your nose as well (unless your nose is clogged). When you inhale you need to use your diaphragm, making your belly expand instead of your chest. This is the only method to use your full lung capacity and to ensure optimal oxygen uptake.
Concentrate on the breathing, inhale consciously and exhale consciously. This will keep your mind ‘here now in this moment’ as much as possible and keep it from straying to the dishes you need to do or the appointments you must keep. If your mind still wanders — and it undoubtedly will — then that’s not a disaster. When you notice it wandering you bring your concentration back to the breathing.
You will notice that it really matters how you breathe. Even if you think you have been breathing perfectly well all your life the effects will show you that you are mistaken. Take your time, as with everything, so the ‘mind-body system’ can come to rest and to itself.
A Brief Summary
- Make sure that you can spare 15 minutes of your time;
- Sit down at a place where you will not be disturbed;
- Sit upright but comfortable;
- Breathe in and out through your nose;
- Connect the breathing without pauses or ‘holding your breath’;
- The inhalation is as long as the exhalation;
- Breathe from the diaphragm;
- Concentrate on breathing so you automatically are ‘here now in this’.