All spiritual practice begins with focusing on your breath. Breathing is recognized as being the doorway between formless and form, spiritual and human. Conscious, focused breathing is the starting place for meditation, prayer and shamanic journeying.
Clearing the mind with a focused breath is used by musicians and artists and athletes. A deep breath brings your attention inward and focuses the forward movement of your next step.
All inner world work begins with your breath. The yoga word prana means the life-force energy that moves throughout the body. The first thing we do upon entering this life is breathe and the last thing we do upon leaving it is to stop breathing. Breathing is a powerful doorway to our inner journey.
Begin with mindful breathing
When we begin to focus on our breath, we step away from the physical limitations of our body suit and move into the freedom of our invisible self. Ninety-five per cent of our world is in the unconscious. Focused breathing helps us go there.
Add mindful breathing to your spiritual practice
Sit or lie in a quiet place. Begin by simply noticing your breath. Feel it move through your nostrils, into your lungs. Ffeel your muscles and organs responding. As you breathe out, let go of all thoughts and tensions.
Let the element of your breath move through every part of you. Use the exhale to center you. Breathe in through the chakras. Begin to breathe through your skin until you feel like the breath of yourself.
Let your body disappear
Mindfully let go of the physical plane. Leave the awareness of your body behind and move into the unseen world, the Nowhere That You Came from, the Great Nothingness, the All-That-Is. Use your breath as a doorway into the Invisible Realm. The more silent and deeply aware you become the more receptive you are to the gifts of your Inner World.
The invisible world is limitless
As you allow your breathing to help you relax, your outward experience begins to disappear and you find yourself in your inner realm.
Whatever is there has no form but will assume a form in order to communicate with you. Your job is to interpret what you see, whether it’s in a dream, a shamanic journey, or a daydream. Even hunches and sudden insights originate in the inner realm. Let your imagination interpret what shows up.
Allow your breath to express your oneness
We are all one energy, one web of life, one cosmic soup, one elemental energy. Your inner observer knows that and will help you experience it. As you feel yourself drift into the Great Nothingness, allow your breath to help you feel your connection with what shows up. Look beyond your awareness of the physical plane and feel our collective oneness. We are all one energy. One web of life. Connected. All one.
Bring that feeling of all-encompassing, everlasting connectedness back with you to the physical realm.
Breathe from a place of love
You can breathe from your heart. You can breathe from an emotion like curiosity or forgiveness. You can breathe from a place of passion of self-awareness. Use your breath to focus an intention for the inner work you set out to experience.
Breathing helps you relax into a higher state of consciousness
When you begin your inner work practice, notice what needs to be released on the physical plane – tension, worry, uncertainty, excitement, apprehension. With each mindful breath, let it go. Leave the physical world behind you and move gently into a higher state of consciousness.
Make mindful breathing a conscious practice
Find what facets of your life need to be released so that you can move into a higher consciousness and simply release them through breathing. Physical fatigue may suggest you breathe in the energy of rejuvenation and replenishment. Sadness may suggest breathing in love and laughter. Confusion may suggest breathing in clarity and self-awareness.
Tune into your present physical experience and choose an intention for your breath.
Become aware of the way you breathe
There are many types of conscious breathing. A basic yoga one is to breathe in to the count of four, hold your breath for the count of four and exhale to the count of four. Repeat. Counting your breaths is one way to begin to quiet your mind and focus on your inner self.
I find I yawn a lot when I begin to breathe. That may be a release of tension or a need for more oxygen from being sedentary, or a welcoming recognition of something that’s meaningful for me. I often yawn when I come closer to a truth I recognize that I need to absorb into my life. It’s a welcoming yawn of acceptance.
Remember, the breath is an open doorway to the invisible world.
The good ol’ diaphragm
Decades ago, when I took voice lessons, I was encouraged to lie on my back with a book placed slightly above my navel and breathe. The purpose was to make the book move with each breath, because that meant I was correctly using my diaphragm. That’s diaphragmatic breathing. Singers and speakers use it. We all should use it.
Diaphragmatic breathing is a habit to cultivate. It keeps you from breathing through your shoulders, which can quickly create great tension. Put your hand above your navel as you breathe and make your hand move in and out with each breath.
Use breathing to allow your inner healing work to be more effective. Cultivate mindful breathing to consciously move from the physical plane world into the depth and expansiveness of the unseen world. Use your breath as the doorway it is.
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