Put yourself somewhere where you feel at peace with your environment,
in a quiet, restful place.
Turn off the phone and put a
Do Not Disturb
sign on the door.
Recline in a positioin that enables you to relax deeply, eg.
in an armchair with your legs elevated and supported.
Create an energetic circuit in your system by holding one
or more of your fingers, according to the emotion you are currently feeling :
Thumbs : worry
Index : fear
Ring : grief
Little : trying to, pretence
Palms of the hands, inter-link the fingers
: total despondency
Hold this circuit for the duration of your 'quiet time', but
change hands if you feel the need.
Bring your attention to your breath.
Do not seek to change or deepen
the breath in any way.
Simply observe it, tracking with your attention its movement
in and out, noting the rest periods between each in/out flow.
When you feel comfortable with tracking the breath, begin
to experience it as flowing from the base of the spine (coccyx), up the spine to the crown of the head, as it comes in; and
from the crown of the head to the base of the spine down the mid-line of the front, as it goes out.
If you fall asleep or drift into a deep state of relaxation,
that is fine. However, if you become pre-occupied with emotional/mental agitation, either
a)check your fingers are maintaining the appropriate
circuit; gently bring your attention back to the pathway of the breath; OR
There are three further important ways of deepening the self-healing
potential of this core exercise :
As you circulate your natural breath pattern up the back of
the spine and down the centre of the front, imagine that that breath is the purest light conceivable, and that it is healing,
nurturing and vitalising your whole being as it circulates up the back and down the front.
Imagine that you are lying on a sandy beach, and that the
ocean is gently flowing in and out very close by, and your ears are filled with the soothing sound of the waves as they flow
up the beach then ebb away again.
As you lie on the beach, feel as though the sound of the waves
flowing in and out is your breath coming in and out of your body.
Gradually feel that your whole body is breathing in and out
in harmony with the waves of the ocean.
This exercise, although in itself very simple, has a powerful
capacity to bring all our body systems and mechanisms back into harmonic rhythm with the natural rhythms of the Universe,
and therefore possesses deep healing power.
This stage takes all of the above practices and
uses them to develop a dialogue between different levels of the self.
Our body tissues and cells remember everything that we
experience, even if we lose the conscious memory of it. Our bodies also know what they need in order to function optimally,
even if our conscious minds do not. Learning to dialogue between our conscious and non-conscious mind, using our bodies as
the most tangible, accessible link, or bridge, between these, can empower our ability to know what we need in order to heal.
When you feel able to use the first three stages readily,
begin to pay attention to the internal sensations of your
body even whilst tracking your breath. 'Scan' your inner body for signs of discomfort or un-ease. Wherever your attention
is drawn, let it blend with this area.
Now 'track' the sensations; locate the place of greatest,
or most intense, discomfort; let yourself follow closer and closer into the heart of the discomfort.
If you find yourself tensing against a discomfort, practise
'breathing out' into the heart of that discomfort, whilst breathing love into that place.
In this way, you continue to use the breath as a means
to transport a quality which you consciously choose, into the area of distress, whilst using the out breath as a means to
open, relax, and disperse the tension held in the area of discomfort. It is likely that you will find that certain emotions
are strongly attached to the area of discomfort you are exploring and opening up.
You can work with this emotional substance using the breath
in a similar way. It is usual for us to tense up against uncomfortable emotions. Such tension can become chronic and impair
the circulation of our fundamental life force, to groups of tissues and areas of our body.
You may spontaneously notice emotional substance in an area
of discomfort. If not, silently 'ask your body' if the physical discomfort is related to an emotion.
When you identify the emotion, try not to flee, or hide from
it. Instead, seek to 'breathe out' into that emotion, on the in-breath, simply remaining
attentive and present to the emotion.
It may be difficult to follow this very far, as our emotional
substance tends to disappear as soon as we enter right into it; whereas when we seek to avoid it, it intensifies as a
tension in related body areas.
Continue to bring your attention back to the emotion; seek
to 'breathe out' more and more into the centre, or heart, of that emotion.
NB When we are feeling overwhelmed by an emotional
state, we can use this exercise in reverse. So, instead of beginning with the breath,
simply go into your quiet place, get into a
comfortable position, and 'track' the feelings that you are feeling overpowered by.
Let the emotion come towards you; in your mind, pay
attention to it, and imagine yourself moving towards it; sense its most intense point, its heart, and move openly into the
centre of this; if the intensity moves to another location continue to track it so that you continue to turn towards the feeling
state, and move closer and closer towards its centre or most intense point.
As the emotional state gradually becomes less intense,
begin to track the breath until you are able to follow the breath with one part of your attention whilst the other part stays
aware of your emotional state.
This is very different from wallowing in or glorifying
our emotions. It is simply a technique to help us to be fully aware of what we are feeling, and to move through those emotions
to a place of integration without denying or repressing our feeling states.
We cannot escape from what has happened to us. However,
we can use that experience to deepen our understanding of both ourselves and others, and through this understanding we can
develop strategies that honour our own right to be true to ourselves whilst simultaneously respecting the dignity of others.
Integrating the burden of emotional substance that our
bodies carry over from the past, through a simple exercise such as the one above, helps us to achieve this.
It is recommended that this exercise by used for about
fifteen minutes daily until it has become thoroughly well-known, and then as frequently as needed depending on the person's
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Heal by Breath