Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lesson #31: The Breath

Over the last few weeks we've been talking about energy work and the importance of maintaining our own energetic fields. Breathing---slowly and deeply---is one of the best ways we can anchor ourselves into the present moment, shield ourselves from untoward external influences, and clear away built-up energy.

If you think about it, breath is life itself, because when we stop breathing, our bodies die.The breath is the umbilical cord to Source. One of the most powerful forms of meditation is focusing on the breath, just noticing the movement of air and the sensations that this creates in the body and mind.

Eckhart Tolle explains that breathing creates space in the mind by producing gaps in out habitual thinking. One or more conscious breaths, taken several times a day, can usher in awareness where there was no space for it before. While our breathing may initially be unnaturally shallow, controlled, or irregular, merely becoming aware of our breath will bring it back to a healthy and normal pattern.

So, how are you doing with breathing? Do you often hold your breath or breathe shallowly? Do you spend most of your time in a sealed building or breathing poluted air? Are you able to take a relaxing deep breath or do you feel constricted? Do you enjoy the breathing benefits of regular, vigorous exercise? Do you get plenty of fresh air? Do you have a regular practice such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, etc?

Most people spend a great deal of time worrying about their eating habits, but never give a thought to breathing habits. This week, I'd like you to focus some attention on the importance of your breath. See if there are a couple ways in which you can improve the quality of your breathing, by perhaps spending more time outdoors, or taking several deep, cleasing breaths every day.