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Healing Through Breathing

Before we can do anything about breathing, we must have a rhythm, a unit of time that represents a normal inhalation.  The heartbeat of the person is the proper rhythmic standard for that particular individual’s breathing.  Hardly anyone has the same standard of course, but that does not matter.  You can find your normal breathing rhythm by placing your finger on your pulse and counting.  Put your right-hand fingers on your left wrist and feel about for the pulse.  Let us assume that it is an average of one, two, three, four, five, and six.  Get that rhythm firmly fixed in your subconscious so that you know it unconsciously, subconsciously, so that you do not have to think about it.

After finding your rhythm. . . sit erect.  You can stand if you like, but there is no point in standing if you can sit.  Inhale slowly the complete breathing system.  That is, chest and abdomen while counting six pulse units.  That is quite easy you know.  You only have to keep a finger on the pulse in your wrist and let your heart pump once, twice, three, four, five, six times.  When you have got the breath in after your six pulse units, retain it while your heart beats three times.  After that, exhale through the nostrils for six heartbeats.  That is, for the same time as that in which you inhaled.  Now that you have exhaled, keep your lungs empty for three pulse units and then start all over again.  Repeat this as many times as you like but do not tire yourself.  You should never tire yourself with exercises because if you do you defeat the whole object of those exercises.  They are to tone one up and make one feel fit, not to run one down or to make one tired.

Disorders of the stomach, the liver and the blood can be overcome by what we term the “retained breath.”  There is nothing magical in this, mind, except in the result, and the result can appear to be quite magical, quite without parallel.  But – at first you must stand erect, or if you are in bed, lie straight.  Let us assume, though, that you are out of bed and can stand erect.  Stand with your heels together, with your shoulders back and your chest out. Your lower abdomen will be tightly controlled.  Inhale completely, take in as much air as you can, and keep it in until you feel a slight – very slight – throbbing in your temples to the left and to the right.  As soon as you feel that, exhale vigorously through the open mouth with all the force at your command.  Then you must do the cleansing breath.

For this cleansing breath, inhale completely, three complete breaths. . . deep breaths, really deep ones, thedeepest that you can manage, fill your lungs, draw yourself up and let yourself become full of air.  Now,with the third breath retain that air for some four seconds, screw up your lips as if you were going to whistle, but do not puff out the cheeks.  Blow a little air through the opening in your lips with all the vigor that you can.  Blow it out hard, let it go free.  Then stop for a second, retaining the air which is left.  Blow out a little more, still with all the vigor you can muster.  Stop for another second and then blow out the remainder so that there is not a puff of air left inside your lungs.  Blow it out as hard as you can. Remember you MUST exhale in this case with very considerable vigor through the opening in your lips.

T. Lobsang Rampa
High Lama of Tibet


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