The Breath and Altered States

As part of my spiritual disciplines, I began working more seriously with the breath roughly around the turn of the century; the year 2000. It began, as it often does, much of its own. I would be out on my walks, early morning before most people were awake so that I could enjoy the solitude and quiet – which as we know, disappears all too fast as the world’s alarm clocks begin going off. On these walks I would enjoy the outside world all to myself, at my own leisure, pace and speed. — which from the beginning, for as long as I can remember has always been rather “grandmotherly”. I task you to find anyone who walks as slow as I do.

Walks would always begin with a nice big breath. A salutation, in a sense, at the glory of the portal of the pre-dawn. The magical feeling presence of the morning gateway. I am sure it is not necessary to point anyone to, or remind anyone of this.. we all know, love and appreciate it well. That first full breath in the stunning light of the sun’s first rays remains a favorite way to start my days. That feeling we have when first waking, which is so like this – when the energy of the dream fields is still with us, is something I like to prolong in my day for as long as possible. The breath helps us do this. I engage the breath in this way so the communication of the fields, of the Inner energy system is still softly present as I head out on my walk.

Breathing in a way in which the breath can be heard is a natural way to stay tuned—to the Inner reaching through to the outer…. There is so much we can know of ourselves in the listening of the breath. – ( the breath does speak ) – we can know if we are calm and relaxed, or perhaps more anxious, we can know where in the body we are holding tension, where in the body is needing of our attention. We can know so many things. What often I would first notice, is that I was a bit out of balance; so I would equalize the inhale and exhale. I would breathe in, for instance, to a count of 8, then breathe out to a count of 8 with my steps, for as long as it took this to be effortless.

What happens as a result, of even something this simple is astounding. It began to be as though I was being breathed. As though something else had taken over and “I” was on this sort of “magic carpet ride”. It would indeed be as though I were light as air. As though I were lightly, effortlessly floating through my experience. Were these my very first experiences of “going out”? Did I simply not recognize them as such? Magical as they were, and still are, at the time I clearly did not appreciate, to the degree I do now, that something a distance out from the usual was in play. It is easy for these initial, preparatory states to be missed. To be noticed as nothing in particular. But this is because we do not yet fully know what is laying in wait.

Some of us never do find this out.

Let those of us here, vow to never be among them. Let’s instead, dive in, and dive in, and dive in, even when it seems to us that nothing is happening. It is the continuing to engage that yields. And here let it also be said that the documenting of our practices, logging our experiences, journaling our feelings and insights, is for those of us who are city dwellers, the very embers that do help keep the fire alive and ultimately ignite it. We begin practice and study on our own. This is stage one, the beginner. We advance, as intermediates to practicing and studying with others in group settings, while continuing our practice as well at home. The advanced practitioner, having developed insight and experience, begins teaching, sharing his/her gifts.

Where are you along this spectrum?

There is a famous Koan:

First there is a mountain
Then there is no mountain
Then there is

In terms of where we are in our learning—where we are in our experience:

First there is a mountain, our physically confined experience – the spiritual seeker has reached a point of dissatisfaction with this and begins looking for more. <— but for now there is still only this, even though the opening has begun and a certain energy has arrived.

Then there is no mountain – we are learning through practice and study that nothing is at it seems, nothing is “real”, we are not the body, we are not the breath, we are not the mind. We are something more, something prior to this. <— we want to know it but it is not yet our direct experience; this must be the most challenging of the stages.

It is easy to lose momentum here but you cannot.

You cannot stop short of the experience you are calling to yourself. The experience that is, and absolutely will be yours if only you continue to engage. Know and SEE where you are in this process and remember what is coming:

Then there is – attainment is finally had, gloriously yours, it has broken through. There is still a world.   — still a body, still a breath, still a mind — only it is not the same as before. It is and exists in a new way, and in this new way are new experiences available to you.

It may, at this point, be found humorous that in the process of discovering what is fundamental to our being – we use what is not, our practice tools being 1 ) the body, 2 ) the breath, 3 ) the mind. Each of us do in fact at the apparent juncture hit this glitch. We are apt, at this juncture, to set a preference and/or even choose to move away from the tools we have at our disposal.

It is a temporary choice, for as long as they are in effect they are what we have,—working with them is in some way requisite. As some of of you are aware, I leaned into Kevala Advaita Vedanta, which aligns with the idea of liberation within the lifetime, and exhibited the inclination toward working with the breath, breathing patterns, energy portals.

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What I was learning I began teaching.

I dove into the primordial sound AUM, experiencing at great depths the vibrations, or reverberations of the seeds : A : U : M : in fact, through the many breathing patterns I chose to explore, I naturally inclined more directly in toward the(ir) sound. Into working with sound itself, directly, and this “inclination” has since taken me into experiences such as the OBE, the fully conscious shift from our 3D physical frequency of reality into additional frequencies, as well as a capacity to hold myself at the zero point of the shift itself which allows me to experience what I call “synchronous states”. In layman’s terms, a capacity to be in many places all at once. In other terms, to parallel process incoming data from multiple fields.

Merging with Sound

In the beginning my conscious OBEs all began with a sound. Have you heard the sound of the blood flowing through your veins? That’s the sound. I began hearing it dramatically and it would quickly raise way up in pitch. then the space, either in front of me or in front of my closed eyes would begin warbling. An invisible yet tangible presence would come through, merge with me and I would witness myself slowly stop breathing—until I was no longer in this physical matter reality.

Later I did spontaneously begin doing this with any and all sound(s)… With the birds chirping, the leaf blowers blowing, motorcycles revving, planes flying overhead, anything and everything I came to hear. Rather than try to cut myself off from the sounds I opened myself up to them—welcomed them in—let them spread through the entirety of my field until I was the sound—until I was experiencing myself as fast sound vibration. And I would shift. -delightfully into multiple fields.

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Now I have skipped through quite a large body of experience, taking place between where we began, taking morning walks at sunrise and beginning the practice of pranayama — to the fully conscious shift into the OBE. I hope, however, that I have given you a feeling for where our interests and inclinations can and do take us when rather than give in, possibly indefinitely put on the brakes, we instead proceed. Even when it seems like nothing is happening. Even when we are going through the hardest of times. Realizing, deeply feeling that sense of ourself that tells us there are miles to go. That there are steps still needing to be taken. And we find ourself picking up the one foot, placing it in front of the other. Until again we are stable on the path.

We are Seekers. ( and this indeed is our greatest joy.

Please make use of the videos. And!—

Do share your experience
and insight

there’s a comment area below!

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