Important points to understand from the introduction to this series:
* The 3 layers of the being are: the body, the breath and the soul/spirit/heart.
* Focusing on the breath, sensing it in the abdomen, allows us to both look ahead at worldly/daily life and back towards the heart, our origin, our True Nature.
*Breathing is not taught. It is therefore ultimate and mysterious knowledge. It is every unique being’s secret bond with the universe.
*Due to the infinite kindness of Planet Earth and our masterful biological adaptation, we have unlimited supplies of oxygen to sustain our human life. Only Planet Earth provides the conditions in which we can thrive, ‘here’ and ‘now.’
If you would like to read the Introduction, please go to https://lindenthorp.com/2017/02/23/shivas-mind-turning-techniques/
These precious techniques are inspired by Shiva, ancient Indian God of ‘Transformation.’ He predates Buddha, providing him with the breathing techniques to become enlightened sitting under the Bodhi Tree 2600 years ago.
Shiva is non-intellectual in his approach, unlike Buddha, so he uses Tantra to help us attain the truth. Tantra is internal in that no conscious changes are needed, unlike Yoga which conscious and systematized using prescribed poses and systems.
Your breath is a bridge between the body and the universe. If that bridge is weak or broken then we are not really alive. In other words, your breath touches the core of your body and, beyond you, the universe.
Mostly, we take our breathing mostly for granted, assuming that it will continue on without us. Therefore, you are not breathing, because you are not required! Breathing goes on in spite of you!
So, do not consciously change the way you breathe. Breathe exactly as you do usually, but for this purpose you are going to simply watch your breathing as if someone else is breathing and you are observing.
Feel air or breath touching your nostrils as it enters you. Let it in. Welcome it. Relax your eyes, looking down at the end of your nose, but do not close your eyes completely so you can stay alert.
Know that your breath follows a circle not parallel lines (which never meet) and you are going to follow that circle keeping exactly simultaneous with it, neither ahead of it nor before it, as you watch.
Go down from the top of the circle with it, staying exactly with it, and then notice the bottom of the circle as you start to go up towards the top again. Both down and up are 1 breath.
Make the circle as large or small as you like. There are no rules and it is impossible to compare your breathing circle with anyone else’s because it is unique.
After watching your breath as the circles come and go, as many times as you like until you are comfortable with this sensation, stopping whenever you like, pause. Shiva says:
O Radiant One: the experience of your true self, your True Nature, may dawn between the breath coming down and the breath coming up: in other words, at the top and bottom of your circle as your breath turns.
This is the truth! The breath going down is death: the breath coming up is rebirth. Noticing the gap in between allows you to touch the centre of your being and so the universe.
Spending time watching your breath, doing nothing because remember you can breathe without you, allows you to cross the bridge of your body to your soul. You are ‘now’ and ‘here’ each time the breath turns! There is no past! There is no future! There is only your uniqueness in the universe. This is reality!!
You have opened the door to the Kingdom of the Spirit.
Inspiration: Using breathing we can turn the mind away from compulsive seeking outside, from desperately trying to acquire the knowledge of others, to find our own unique treasure within. We can turn the mind from its habitual desiring to non-desiring.
This now-and-here is our true happiness and contentment.
Images courtesy of megapixyl.com and Linden Thorp
Join me tomorrow for Breath 2. Please contact me via the comment space below if you have any questions, problems or comments and want to share them with other readers. Or, if you prefer, contact me by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org