Posts Tagged "breathing"

A Little Breathing Space

Posted by on Mar 31, 2017

AngelInsight_Transience_400For the next few weeks I’m doing a little bit of CPD (continuing professional development)- and some necessary wellbeing management for myself. I’m taking part in a Mindfulness course at the Buddhist centre in East London. So far, I am happy to report it is not only useful, relaxing and calming to listen to the soothing voices of the trainers, it is also beneficial to my health and hugely enjoyable. It was in this same place twenty years ago that I learned how to meditate, and it is so lovely to be back there, albeit briefly, on a weekly basis.

One of the most valuable natural resources for health is the air we breathe. How often do you think about that? Hardly ever I’ll bet – unless its either hot and dusty or there is a chill in the wind, or perhaps when there’s a strong smell in the air! Then what about the amazingly complex yet totally automatic action of breathing itself – how often are we aware of that? We breathe in and we breathe out from the first moment of birth. As we are born we gasp our first in breath, and as we pass away we expel our final out breath. And everything in between is held in that mysterious experience we call our ‘life’.

The Buddhist concept of breathing meditation is simply to sit comfortably and follow the breath in and out (either through the nose or mouth)with full awareness. If your mind wanders, as it will, you are asked to gently bring it back to the breathing and focussing on the breath and the act of breathing. They recommend breathing like this at least once or twice a day, just for a few minutes. This is a huge help in stressful situations, with many physical benefits (such as reducing blood pressure) as well as calming the mind and relaxing the body.

In the Essene tradition the breath is considered holy too and the Friday communion is with the Angel of Air:

“In the midst of the fresh air of the fields and the forests, there shall you find the Angel of Air. Patiently she waits for thee to quit the dank and crowded holes of the city. Seek her then, and quaff deeply of the healing draught that she does offer thee. Breathe long and deeply. That the Angel of Air may be brought within you. For the rhythm of thy breath is the key of knowledge which doth reveal the Holy Law…”

I’m enjoying my extra bit of CPD immensely – funny really, that sometimes we have to find the space to really breathe!

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Prana – Breath of Life

Posted by on Mar 2, 2017

Breathing, it’s an interesting topic. To inspire means fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. It also means to breathe-in.

How’s your breathing? Not really paying much attention to it?AngelInsight_Strength2

Stop for a moment, go on, just to observe how you’re breathing in this moment. Shallow? Just into the top of your lungs and quite quickly?  Perhaps you have a cold, but regardless of temporary difficulties most of us – and probably 95% of the time – are hardly ever aware of this magnificent automatic life-supporting mechanism.  So the chances are we haven’t noticed how shallow we breathe. We may be only using about a third of our lung capacity at any given moment.  And when we are stressed we breathe quickly and use even less. The emotional stress is debilitating in itself but the lack of oxygen going into our blood stream creates tired limbs and depleted organs which in turn creates physical tiredness compounding the exhaustion. So, whether you are stressed or not take a few minutes to think about breathing consciously. At the moment there is a lot of talk about the ‘mindfulness’ buzzword and it all starts with understanding the breath. You see we don’t really pay much attention to the ‘automatic’ things in life, do we?

Those of you who do yoga are familiar with breathing exercises taking air down into your lower belly, into your Hara and have most likely become aware of the term prana too. Prana comes from Indian philosophy and is the sanskrit word which we call the life source. It means the cosmic, vital energy force manifest in all things, which the ancient Chinese understood and called it chi, in Japan it is ki and Egyptian ka. 

Prana, is not just in the air we breathe, it is in the way we breathe it too. In ayruvedic medicine, which combines spiritual and healing as part of its methodology, prana is essential to spiritual, emotional, physical and mental health and it is also the life giving energy of the brain inspiring consciousness as well as the intellect. And the Essenes believed that it is in the moment between the ‘breathing out and the breathing in’ that all the answers to the great mysteries of Life are held.

Yogis understand that breath and breathing nourishes us totally and balances our central chakra system by giving complete life-giving spiritual energy to all parts of our body. By practicing yogic breathing exercises called pranayama some have taken this to extremes and live on prana alone.  Breatharianism is the belief that it is possible for a person to live without consuming food. Breatharians claim that food, and in some cases water, are not necessary for survival, and that humans can be sustained solely by prana.

Here’s an exercise for you to do now as a mindful taste of how much better we feel when we really breathe.

Sit up with your bottom pulled back into the chair so that you are balanced on your ‘sitting bones’  with your spine straight and head balanced. Relax your stomach and shoulders as you allow your weight to sink into the chair. Place your hands on your lower belly, and feel it expand as you take a long slow deep breath in through your nose sensing the air as it enters your nostrils. Follow the air down through your body, with a sense of gratitude, experiencing the filling of your lungs completely and feeling the movement with your hands. Hold it for a couple of seconds and then slowly release the breath (some people like to exhale through the mouth – either nose or mouth is fine, its a personal choice) until there is no more by very gently squeezing your tummy muscles to aid the exhalation. Now pause again for a second or two, mindfully conscious of the magnitude of how we do this process automatically yet amazingly by design, without giving it any thought. Then allow the breath to fill you again and hold, and repeat several times. This is the practice for breathing down into your Hara. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually we have just given ourselves a small dose of good medicine. (I encourage you to develop this into a regular daily spiritual practice, if it is not something you already do).

When we are aware of the Hara, we are more centred, more grounded, more balanced. We are safer in our self, and safer to be around. By breathing calmly and deeply when we are worried, stressed, over-ought and stretched we can come back to our self with a calmer body, more energised  and with a clearer mind.

You see, my point is that because it is automatic we so often forget that breathing air, and the physical support mechanism by which we are able to do that to support life, is all part of life’s great mystery. Just as we forget that all around us is a magnificent mysterious network of angelic beings, spirits, guides, elementals, nature devas, and the all encompassing beneficent support mechanism called, universal mind – God. We don’t have to tell ourselves to breathe to stay alive, it just happens. But perhaps we do have to remind ourselves to practice breathing more effectively for our health and wellbeing. Some of us continually ask, pray, and make demands from the angels and God for what we want for life to be ‘more’. We don’t really have to tell the Universe how to support us. If we believe in the wonder of Divine creation then God knows what we need to sustain life. But perhaps sometimes we might need to remind ourselves to practice living this amazing life a little more consciously, pay a little more attention to it. Perhaps try to live a little more gracefully. Hm, now there’s a thought to inspire.

So……. How’s your breathing now?

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Strengthen your Aura

Posted by on Jan 28, 2016

AngelInsight_ProtectionIn all our lives there are times when we face challenging behaviour from other people. Whether it is a colleague, friend or member of the family whose words or actions are unacceptable or offensive to you, the reason you become so upset is because, actually, you have no direct control. The only thoughts, words and deeds we can be sure of come from our own mind and mouth – and sometimes even our own reactions seem to have a life of their own, if we not practicing full awareness. When people are either in our personal space as they may be at work, or ‘prodding’ our hearts because they are in our family, we are so close that it is difficult not to become embroiled in the drama. Our mind tends to go over and over the situation. This attachment affects our ’emotional body’ which makes up one of the layers of energy which we all know as our aura.

Trauma, heated battles and emotional upsets, as well as all types of disease, (not to mention abuse of any kind) are not only mentally and emotionally exhausting, but they can cause serious damage to the aura. This damage shows in the form of cracks, holes and discolouration. Holes in our aura leave us vulnerable to ‘psychic attack’. This doesn’t mean that someone is casting evil spells or sticking pins into a model of us, it simply means we are more than usually affected by other people’s cruel words and unkind actions. (Sometimes when we are very vulnerable we are even affected by and ‘feel’ the injustices in fictional drama from screen plays on the television and cinema).

Don’t worry, like everything else in life once you become aware of the problem you can work at putting it right. When we believe in and work with the angels help is always at hand.

Think of the aura as being an egg-shaped band of multi-coloured light surrounding your physical body. Like an egg the skin and outer shell is permeable. We exchange energy between the outside world and our inner being through this permeable membrane, and just like the skin and the shell of the egg of a bird protects the chick, it is designed to protect us as we grow. So, how do we strengthen and protect our emotional energies and repair our battered aura so that we are fully protected? Here are a few guidelines you might like to try,  and with renewed strength, you will be able to keep out the negative energies allowing your whole light to shine through.

* Every time you get out of bed imagine that you are stepping into a ‘hoola hoop’ of bright light and pull this up the whole length of you sealing it at arms reach above your head.

* Call upon your guardian angel to help you strengthen the outer ‘skin’, filling it with bright shining light.

* Call upon Archangel Michael to surround you in his protective blue light throughout the day.

* Ask Archangel Raphael to help to heal your aura, and send healing blessings to all those involved.

* Send your love into your aura, out to everyone you know then onward and out into the world.

* Breathe deeply before any anticipated confrontation and call your angels to stand by your side: “Angels be with me please, to my left, to my right, behind and before me. Thank you”.

* Carry a piece of your favourite crystal, or an angel card, with the intention of regularly connecting to your spiritual nature.

* Take time out in nature. A ten minute walk lifts our spirits.

And finally, meditate, meditate, meditate! Even just 2-5 minutes of deep breathing, sending out blessings in advance before you start the day to centre and ground yourself, brings enormous changes to the energy within and without.

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