A man I know is dependent on a machine to breathe. The machine cycles his inhalations and exhalations at a steady, unchanging pace. Ordinarily, his emotions would alter his breathing, but he cannot change how he breathes, and the conflict between his natural rhythms and the machine sets off the alarm. If he were not attended to promptly, it would be life threatening.
Human society and individual habits are like a breathing machine, fixing all who are on it to an unnatural style of living which may begin with the alarm clock and go through the day with schedules, appointments, fitting in with rules and regulations, being too long in cars, on cell phones and laptop computers (ahem!)
It is no wonder that homo sapiens, although a biological organism of Nature, is a species far removed from her beauty and balance. The rigid, habitual (unaware) lifestyle of modern humans has devastating consequences.
... suffering is the effect of losing awareness of what is truly perfect in our essence of being. There is a need for awakening....
The question of this discussion is, 'What practices support greater awareness?' — whether it is Christian contemplation, Buddhist meditation, Yoga, working with plant spirits, or any other. I have explored many practices and am currently experimenting with a synthesis of what has been most effective and efficient for me. I call it Heart Space Breathing. Are there any who would experiment and practice this for a few days, then write how it feels to you?
Collective Evolution Facebook Discussion
Anja van Loon Just "being" and "feeling" grateful.
Gary R. Smith ... and breathing?
Anja van Loon Is that not a subconscious thing to breathe? Being grateful something to be conscious of? Something to combine? Air in gratefulness out?
Gary R. Smith Yes, 'The subconscious mind is also responsible for all physiological functions of the body; we don't regulate our heart rate, breathing, kidney function or digestion with our conscious mind.' - cellularwisdom.com
Yet, we *can* breathe consciously. We can also bring our awareness to our breathing. It is incredibly powerful to observe our breathing and change our emotional state through this awareness. Totally self-empowering. Gratefulness is always good.
Rod MacKinnon Hi Gary R. Smith... always great to read and think about your posts...Thanks for the acknowledgement...I was also quoting from a poem by Sam Hunt...a Kiwi poet and friend...I'd like to take some time to re-read and think about your thoughts...I've followed a personal daily practice of meditation, breathing and movement for around forty-something years and (I think) due to my good fortune, growing through my formative years in a remote and beautiful region of NZ close to ocean, rivers, forests and mountains and daily interaction with animals, I've been gifted with an inner awareness/acceptance/sense of integration with, what people refer to as, "nature". It fits me like a skin....It isn't just the physical environment...it's a resonance....always present...
Martin Frank I have found that the process known as Nonviolent Communication, developed by Marshall Rosenberg, is a very practical way to begin 'deschooling' from what I know as the 'judgement' thought and speech that I have experienced as the foundation of the 'domination cultures' strategies for maintaining control by separation. Check it out.
Gary R. Smith Xan Maranya, evolution is on-going and experimentation with Heart Space Breathing is part of the fun. I like it, too!
Joseph Naft from Inner Frontier writes on the page you linked, 'A word of caution, though, at the outset: in practicing breath awareness we make no change whatsoever to the physical movement of the breath.'
When I observe my breath, the act of observation influences it. I find my breath changes without my forcing it.
I downloaded the Kindle version of one of Joseph's books and started browsing. This type of material is good for those who need structure to start. I question some of his statements, such as about goal setting. If the idea is to live from awareness rather than from the conditioned mind, there is no goal setting from what I see. Overall, the article on Conscious Breathing you linked is excellent, and I have written to Joseph for permission to post it on the Whole Human blog. Thank you again.
Xan Maranya Changing our breathing pattern deliberately is quite different from the natural effects of becoming conscious in it. Both can be useful.