Breathing In Life
My favourite quote on breathing; “And God formed figures from clay, blowed on them to breathe in life, and they became men.”
This biblical story highly puzzled me when I was a child; I did not understand how grown-ups seriously could believe such a thing. It surely wouldn’t work with the clay dolls I made… But then it wasn’t to be taken literally. It was symbolically explaining that we are spiritual beings in a physical body, sharing God’s life force and creative possibilities. The Kabbalah too speaks of breathing in life, and the process is of course literally exercised in re-animations. The central idea is to enliven the body through blowing in the Holy Spirit, (re)awakening one’s God-force by sharing and mirroring yours. All reiki masters use this technique with their attunements/initiations. It is not some vague spiritual idea but a proven and valid method.
Inhale & Exhale
Inhaling and exhaling is much more than keeping a body going, although I will not underestimate the meaning of breathing properly for physical health and wellbeing.
Through breathing we interact with our surroundings. The air you breathe in now was the exhalation of your neighbor. Tantric lovers consciously use techniques of circular breathing to build a strong bond of union. The simplest is that one lover inhales while the other exhales. Partners can circle and increase energy when the active partner inhales through the nose and exhales through the genitals, while the receptive, or other partner inhales through the genitals and exhales through the nose. (This is partly a mental process.) Or you can make smaller circles, for instance between the sex chakra and the heart chakra, to promote intense and passionate love.
You can use the breath to send your attention to certain parts of your body. This is a good way to energize your self, to increase awareness of your body, and to promote inner calmness by being present in the moment. A tantric breathing meditation is this one: With every in-breath bring your awareness down to your spine and with every out-breath let it rise up again. It is very helpful to visualize a ball of energy traveling down your spine on the inhalation, and climbing up your spine til the top of the head on the exhalation. After a while you can feel burning heat in the lower belly; you will feel every part of your body and the increased energy can give a tingling sensation. It is a simple way to feel a strong connection between heaven and earth; with the in-breath you sink into the body (God meets you), while on the out-breath your consciousness leaves the body (you meet God). Regular practice can lead to bliss. A western breathing meditation technique to bring awareness and relaxation goes like this: Take a relaxed position; breathe to your feet until you really feel them and have relaxed the muscles there, and move up part by part of the body until you end with the top of the head.
Breathing For Emotion
Breathing deeply helps to get in contact with deep seated emotions, the fears, pains and anger.
Hurt people often avoid their pain by breathing superficially, only with the tops of the lungs. If however you decide to deal with a dark, hidden part of you it means that you will have to breathe life giving and enlightening energy to it. This is not easy, but it will bring relief. In serious problems I suggest you do this with a therapist. Breathing deeply to a sore body part can also diminish physical pain and cramps. In several therapies healing energy is blown onto the patient.
Further breathing has strong creative qualities. Like God breathed life into his creation, magicians breathe raised energy into the magical goal they visualize or affirm. Both religious and magical orientated people work with the power of the sound, the word, mantras, prayers, affirmations and ritual texts. Words are creative energy on the wings of the breath.
There are many ways to use the breath to restore our potentials as holographic parts of the Divine, Masters of the Universe, or at least to feel calmer, healthier and happier.
And since I am a reiki master I admit with a smile that I have become one of these strange creatures who breathe in universal life force….
Author Details: Breathing – Anja Heij is a classical homoeopath, naturopath, reiki master and spiritual writer.