Part 2: Breathing and Meditation: Awareness

Over the years, everything that I have come across in any personal growth subject talks at some point about the importance of breathing. It may sound like an oxymoron, but we do take breathing for granted. We go about our day concerned about our problems, stress, etc… and forget that we breathe.  Breathing is everything and does have a lot of influence in relation to a person’s well being and mind state. A calm breath usually indicates a calm mind, in control whereas a rough, superficial breath may suggest a racing mind, out of control, erratic, impulsive and so it is the person.

My experiences with breathing have been through the foundation of breath in Systema, Russian Martial Art, Pranayama Yoga or breathing control techniques and through the work of Dr. Andrew Weil in Breathing, the Master Key of Self Healing. There are many breathing variations, each with many benefits and purpose but for now let’s concentrate on breathing normally without restriction just being aware of your breathing. Sit at a comfortable position, cross legged or leg straight no matter, but with your back straight. If you prefer, you can lay on the floor arms by your side and legs slightly apart. Relax!

Everything starts at the breath, preferably at the exhale.  Breathe in through nose out through the mouth. Sometimes I do better breathing in and out through the nose only, but no matter which at this point.  Take full breaths feeling like the ebb and flow of a wave filling the belly on the inhale and releasing fully on the exhale.

This awareness will immediately point out the areas of tension in your body. Start from the top all the way to your toes. Eventually you will be able to start from any side or part of your body, but to keep it as a routine, start with the head.  Become aware of the areas you feel tension in your head, your temple, and your jaw and neck area. Select the area of tension and continue breathing normally and fully. The breath should never stop. It must be fluid and full. While been aware of the tension in that specific area move your awareness through your breathing and “breathe through” that area of tension. Visualize Breathing in through the tension and on the exhale breathe out the tension. Practice this awareness and breathing until you feel comfortable, peaceful and relaxed.

Practice is only half of the process. Once in relaxation you can start meditation. Move your awareness to your mind, your thoughts. What are you thinking? Is it positive? Something troubles you? Put these thoughts aside for now and replace it with a positive image of you, looking alive, living life in happiness. “See” this through your own eyes; you are looking straight at you. Now, move this awareness to the back of your eyeballs, visualize them at the center of your brain as if you were in the observatory of a tower looking on and beyond through a panoramic view of 180 degrees which are your eyeballs.   You can view it 360 degrees if you want too, it’s your own vision after all, and there are no boundaries. It may take some time to visualize, do not rush it. You want to feel it until it is right how you want it. Some call this place the cave, but you can call it whatever you like, it is your special place of awareness. I have many names for it and use it invariably depending on the situation: the chamber, my corner office with a beautiful view, the center of command like NASA’s mission control or one we see at an action movie. Sometimes I visualize myself in an IMAX movie theater with superb 3-D audiovisual qualities.

The idea to me is being there at the center of my mind looking through my eyeballs, being aware of everything until I become part of everything. Move your awareness to this place.