Descartes famously stated, “I think, therefore I am.” I don’t think that Descartes dabbled in the Eastern philosophies, because if he did, I think he would have followed up the statement with, “I don’t think, therefore I am that much more.” There’s a lot to be said for the ability to say nothing at all (pardon the oxymoron). For the ability to remove yourself from your thought processes and to just take in what’s around you. Take in the peace. The stillness. We live in such a high pace world that it’s no wonder our minds race a mile a minute. I step outside and I’m surrounded by so much bustle that I can’t hear myself not think. Yet at the same time, I’d miss this bustle if it was gone. Sometimes I feel like a walking paradox, but I think it’s all about balancing the best of both worlds. When I was at Burning Man, I made a friend named Julius that taught me the most magical breathing technique. If you close your eyes, and just follow along, and release yourself into the waves and beauty of the moment… just let go… I promise you that the peace that comes… even if just for a few seconds at first… will be a euphoric stillness like no other. It just takes a little patience and practice, especially if you’re not used to meditating and/or focusing on your breath.
Close your eyes and take a deep breath in through your nose. Then let it go out through your nose. I find that it helps if I purse my lips a little and press my tongue up to the roof of my mouth – helps the energy flow. In through your nose. And out through your nose. Nice and calm. Feel your lungs fill. Actually feel your lungs fill and visualize them expanding and then deflating. Nice and calm. And still. Hear your breath. In through your nose and out through your nose. Nice and calm. Now, when you feel the rhythm of air cycling through you, really start to listen to the sound of your breath. In through your nose, and out through your nose. In through your nose… and then stop. As your lungs are done filling, stop and hold your breath… and listen. Listen to the stillness out there when your breath is stagnant. Feel the stillness underneath the bustle… now let go of your breath. Listen to it deflate… only now it seems to take on a whole other life. And again. In through your nose. Hold. Out through your nose. All with patience, and love, and calm. Once you’ve got that flow going, start to smile every time you exhale. I don’t know what it is about it, but that smile makes your heart open just that much more. You are everything. You are a big ball of White Light. And the Universe is yours because you are the Universe and the Universe is you. In through your nose. Hold. Smile as you let the breath out through your nose. I promise you that even if you’re “not into meditation or breathing” this is life changing. Just try it. Pinky swear promise. Once you’ve got that flow going – the final part comes in. Breathe and smile and release and enjoy.. only do it from your heart. Listen to and feel the breath coming into your heart. Listen to and feel the breath leaving your heart. VISUALISE. Visualise breathing with your heart. And when you hold your breath, you’ll notice that there’s stillness, but there’s also the thump thump thump of your heart, pumping life energy through you. It’s beautiful, isn’t it?!? What a joy and mystery this thing we call life. I can’t help but smile. Learning this breathing technique has been life-changing… and at a time of Canadian thanksgiving… I must say that this is one of the many things for which I am very thankful. Namaste.