Tag Archives: deep breathing

Paul Ferrini on Meditation and Deep Breathing

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

Some people consider deep breathing essential for meditation. The breath, we’re told, opens us to a meditative state and brings our awareness back to the heart. It’s believed that by slowing our breathing from an erratic pace to one that’s more relaxed, we can access deep states of consciousness and connect with a source of compassion and wisdom in ourselves.

Different people define this source of wisdom in different ways. Some call it intuition, whereas others call it their higher self. Some even believe it to be the work of spiritual guides. No matter how you define it, one main goal of meditation is to connect with it. Many people believe that the best way to do so is to focus on your breath.

Let’s take a look at what spiritual writer Paul Ferrini has written about the breath in relation to meditation and the heart.

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Paul Ferrini. Credit: Twitter.com

First, Paul explains why deep breathing is important to accessing the heart.

“You cannot be in the heart if your breathing is shallow or labored.

“When the breath is shallow, thinking is superficial. If you want to live a spiritual life, bring your awareness to your breath. Become aware of the times when you are breathing in a shallow way and bring your awareness to your thoughts. You will see that your mind is chattering. None of these thoughts has depth or significance.

“If you relax and breathe deeply, these thoughts will fly away like startled birds. And then you will abide in the heart. When the breath is labored, thinking is driven by fear and anxiety. Become aware when your breathing is labored. Notice what you are thinking and feeling. Your mindstates will be rooted in the past or future.

“You will be focused on what other people are doing and how you can accommodate them or protect yourself from their actions. You are building a fortress of thought around your heart. Take a deep breath and relax. Now take another one. Breathe and return to the heart. Breathe and return to your essential Self.” (1)

He tells us that the body dies when it no longer contains the “breath of spirit”.

“Breathing is the key to living a spiritual life in physical embodiment. When the body dies, the breath leaves the body. Where does it go!

“Most of you think that the body is the creator of the breath. Actually, it is the other way around. The breath is the begetter of the body. When the breath goes, the body ceases to function. It disintegrates into nothing because, without the breath of spirit, the body is nothing.

“If you want to lead a spiritual life breathe deeply and slowly. Take the air deep down into your abdomen and release it fully. The more air you bring into your body, the lighter it will feel, and the easier it will be for you to accomplish your responsibilities.

“One who breathes is not afraid or overwhelmed by what life presents because he or she has the energy to meet all circumstances. Only one whose breathing is shallow or labored and irregular is de-energized and easily intimidated by the challenges of life.” (2)

Here, Paul draws a link between being stressed or tired and the breath being erratic. According to this idea, if our breathing is imbalanced, then stress, anxiety, and all those other nasty feelings are sure to follow. We can mitigate them by meditating, being aware of the way we breathe, and calming ourselves when we start to lose our balance.

Paul believes something as simple as breathing deeply can provide all the energy we need. This is because in this case, the breath translates into spiritual energy which then becomes physical energy we can expend on far more tasks than before. I can attest that meditation provides unparalleled energy and inspiration, making life seem less intimidating and more exciting.

We’re all different, though, and some might benefit less from meditation than others. But if you struggle with stress, anxiety, and low energy levels, a little meditation each day might help.

Paul believes living in the heart is not only difficult, but impossible without being aware of your breath. He explains:

“Unless you breathe deeply and calmly, you cannot be in your heart. If you do not know what I am talking about, put this book down and begin to breathe into your abdomen, counting to five on the inhalation and counting again to five on the exhalation. Breathe in this way for five minutes, gradually extending your count to seven, or eight, or nine. Do not force. Just expand gradually, as your lungs comfortably allow.

“Now you are in your heart. Notice that you are deeply relaxed, yet surprisingly alert. Your consciousness extends to all the cells of your body. You are content where you are. You fully inhabit your body in the present moment. You feel warm and energetic. You feel safe and secure. Your thoughts have slowed down and become more integral.

“You are no longer focusing on the ‘shoulds’ and ‘what ifs’ of your life. Tension and anxiety are absent. Past and future have receded from your awareness. Your thinking is centered and dignified. You can stay with your thoughts because they are fewer and further between. Now bring your awareness to your heart, as you continue to breathe gently but deeply into your abdomen.

“Can you feel the presence of understanding and compassion in your heart center! Can you see that you hold yourself and others in gentle acceptance! Can you feel the love that dwells in your heart and freely extends to others!” (3)

Breathing deeply can make you aware of your thoughts, the space between your thoughts, and the sense of compassion for humanity we all have but don’t all use. This will have a lasting impact on how you treat others and generally see the world. I’ll let you decide for yourself whether meditation is the only real way to access the heart or be a compassionate person, but in any case, it couldn’t hurt.

The meditative state brings a sense of peace and clarity that goes on to shape your perception of the world. It helps you see that most of us are well-meaning people trying to get by in a world we don’t totally understand. This can change the way you treat people, as you begin to empathize rather than judge or criticize.

Compassion is the starting point for anyone who wants to live from the heart, and for many, meditation is the first step to becoming more compassionate.

I’ll leave you with this quote from Paul in which he explains that the traditions we’ve built our lives upon come into question when we practice meditation and deep breathing.

“If you keep forgetting to breathe, the planet is doomed. ‘Well’, you say, ‘I can handle that’. But it may not be as easy as you think. Try it for a while. Breathe deeply for one day and see what happens. If you are committed to this practice, all that is artificial in your life will begin to fall away. And you may be surprised how much of your life begins to unpeel.

“Consider this. Is your job safe! Not if you go to work out of sacrifice. What about your marriage! Are you with your partner out of duty or love! What about your values and religious beliefs…are they safe! Or have they been fashioned out of guilt and fear! If so, they will not stand the ebb and flow as the breath comes down into the belly and out through the mouth, the nose, and the skin.” (4)

Sources:

  1. Paul Ferrini, Silence of the Heart. South Deerfield, MA: Heartways Press, 1996, 9.
  2. Ibid., 9-10.
  3. Loc. Cit.
  4. Ibid., 12-3.
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A Breathing Exercise to Take You Higher

By Nick Polizzi, Wake Up World

A few years ago, one of my teachers taught me a powerful breathing exercise that I’d like to share with you today.

Variations of this technique have been used for millennia to induce altered states of consciousness and connect more deeply with the divine. On the surface, it’s hard to fathom how breathing alone can take us to such great heights. I had doubts myself – until I gave it a try. As it turns out, I hadn’t given my lungs enough credit – the experience was cathartic in ways that defy description. Continue reading A Breathing Exercise to Take You Higher

Just Breathe

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

Do you want to know yourself? Sit and breathe. Do you want to know the divine? Sit and breathe.

In an overcomplicated world, this simple advice can change everything. No need to push yourself toward some amazing, grandiose personal change. No need to become unhappy trying to live up to some guru’s expectations. No need to abandon who you are in hopes of becoming something more.

Just breathe deeply and let spirit take care of the rest. Continue reading Just Breathe

Yoga Expert Reveals Life-Changing Health Benefits of Deep Breathing, Including Improved Focus, Peaceful Sleep and Tension Relief

By Isabelle Z, Natural News

(NaturalNews) As we turn to any number of external sources to deal with what ails us both physically and mentally, it is easy to overlook some of the simpler solutions that are literally right under our noses.

One powerful method of healing is something we do all the time, without giving it a second thought. In fact, you are certainly doing it right now: breathing.

As we inhale and exhale, we don’t usually think too much about the process unless something is going wrong. If you happen to have asthma or a stuffy nose, for example, the awareness of your breathing might be heightened, but for the most part, we all just go about our days taking each breath for granted. Continue reading Yoga Expert Reveals Life-Changing Health Benefits of Deep Breathing, Including Improved Focus, Peaceful Sleep and Tension Relief

Franklin Merrell-Wolff on Deep Breathing and Bliss – Part 2/2

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Franklin Merrell-Wolff. Credit: numii.net

By Wes Annac, Culture of Awareness

Continued from part 1 (read full post here).

Some people are immediately aware of the current, while others remain in the dark.

“I am studying the effect of the Current upon others. Sherifa is immediately responsive to It and recognizes Its presence, at times even before I do. It will grip an audience, but those who have heretofore given recognition to a consciousness of substantially lower quality do not seem to be aware of the Ambrosia. Perhaps it is too subtle.” (1)

Life is empty and joyless without the elixir (or, again, what I call love and bliss).

“Life without the Elixir has become more empty than it was before the Current was first experienced. Mere external affairs utterly fail to hold my interest.

“The conditions of town life seem definitely adverse to holding consciousness within the Current of Bliss. Driving an automobile in traffic is particularly inimical. The reason seems quite clearly to be that under these conditions it is much more difficult to hold the inner concentration unbroken.

“To steer a way through the outer confusion requires objective concentration. I, at least, cannot yet move through these conditions with safety by giving only peripheral attention to them. Perhaps it may be possible to establish the correlation so that it will hold under these adverse conditions, but the demand upon the vital strength is severe.” (2)

Continue reading Franklin Merrell-Wolff on Deep Breathing and Bliss – Part 2/2

Franklin Merrell-Wolff on Deep Breathing and Bliss – Part 1/2

The Teachers Speak (KEEP)

By Wes Annac, Culture of Awareness

This is a part of The Teachers Speak, a series of articles on the Culture of Awareness. Read full post here.

Franklin Merrell-Wolff was a philosopher who, after experiencing a spiritual awakening in 1936, became dedicated to jnana yoga and the theologian Shankara.

He gave detailed accounts of his experiences with a higher consciousness, and he referred to the bliss which frequently surrounded him as ambrosia. I’m interested in his writings because he shared his experiences with no bias and no underlying need to convince the reader.

He simply wanted to document his journey for the sake of helping others, and he probably knew that one day, more people would awaken spiritually and would benefit from reading his experiences. He had plenty of insight to share, and he shared it for everyone who would eventually seek enlightenment. Continue reading Franklin Merrell-Wolff on Deep Breathing and Bliss – Part 1/2

Matthew Anderson Video: Why Deep Breathing Can Change Your Life!

http://www.reclaimyourempoweredself.com/

Thanks to The Galactic Free Press.

The power of our breath is something so easily overlooked in our society, and yet when we bring conscious awareness and intention to it we discover the extraordinarily transformational and empowering potential it offers us in every moment. However, it is a power that we must consciously CHOOSE to utilize if we are to be the emotionally expressive and infinitely creatively powerful beings we were born to be, and that “YES!” can be communicated to the Universe simply through the art of deep breathing…

Try it today and remind yourself how awesome life really is! 😀