Healing through breath

  • By SUSAN SUSHMA HARIMANDIR CLARK
  • Sunday, December 13, 2015 1:01am
  • Neighbors

You are a healer. You are a more powerful force in the world than you have been led to believe or are able to imagine. What you say and even think and how you breathe changes you and those around you and actually affects change on the planet as a whole.

In these challenging new times, in which everything we thought was stable is rapidly changing, we need new tools to help us through and to uplift ourselves and others. One such tool for your backpack is Heart Breath.

Your heart is a second and intelligent brain, more subtle than the mind-brain, but actually far more powerful and reliable. Your heart-intelligence is your source of truth and essential intuition that will guide you as you uncover access to it.

To begin to experience listening to your heart’s wisdom, use your breath. Try it right now. Move off your regular automatic breath (a shallower, faster upper-chest breathing), and begin to slow, lengthen and deepen your breath. Breathing in and out through your nose, take three seconds to inhale slowly and three seconds to slowly exhale. Fill your belly first, then feel your ribs and back expanding, bringing oxygen to starved areas deep in your lungs, then fill the upper chest. Exhale in reverse order, finally pulling in your belly button to squeeze all the old stale air out that has been there too long. Your goal for now is to build up to four breaths per minute (seven-eight seconds for each inhale and also for each exhale), thus activating your pineal and pituitary glands which some call your “Soul Glands.” When they are secreting we feel more connected to our source and to others, rather than separate or alienated.

With our everyday breath we have no option but to react to whatever comes at us; from family, from the news and other media, from our institutions, from our own self-criticisms. With longer, slower, deeper breath we change our body chemistry; we give ourselves (and others) space to respond (or not respond) more thoughtfully. As your nervous system relaxes you are better able to filter and digest what is happening around you and you have a calming effect on others.

Now add another dimension to your slower deeper conscious breath. Begin to imagine or visualize your exhale coming out of your heart center. Just intend that your breath travels through your physical and energetic magnetic heart, as it leaves your lungs. This Heart Breath in its powerful simplicity is the essential healing breath of this new age.

After a few breaths, begin to send this breath from your heart to the heart of another, someone in your family, perhaps or workplace, even deep into the Earth. Send this healing heart energy to one person, to groups of people or whole countries, even to yourself. It doesn’t lose its power by going wider. Practice sending Heart Breath as a kindness without judgement of the recipients and without expectation of specific change. From this neutral space it travels from Heart to Heart regardless of the other person’s difficult personality, behavior or politics. This breath travels from your heart to others’ hearts directly as they receive a subtle, loving, expanding connection to their own heart and intuition. If they are not yet open to that, Heart Breath plants a seed for when they are ready. Through this practice we tap into the Universal Heart which unites us all, of which your heart, each heart, is a part. Those whom we have called “evil” have not yet connected to their hearts. In the ancient Aramaic language of Christ, that original word is “unripe.” By sending Heart Breath to them, we serve as healers, their heart becomes more available to them, and thus reduces the universal dangers of closed, unavailable hearts.

As we listen to and read about upsetting, even unimaginable, circumstances in the world and at home we see the heartache, lies and abuses. We have a choice — to respond in a way that uplifts all, or react with fear, anger and blame. Both responses have the power to change humanity. One elevates us all on a path of light, the other feeds into our darkness. Getting embroiled in reciprocity of hate or suspicion does not serve you, and will only increase the dangers. It is never a way out. Choose instead Heart Breath to create a central peace within yourself and begin to affect the dynamic of the whole world. With Heart Breath we are powerful change makers as we lay the foundation of all hearts opening. “Catch yourself breathing.”

• Susan Sushma Harimandir Clark is a member of the Juneau Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and teaches Kundalini Yoga and Meditation in Juneau and beyond.

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