1. Breathing into the heart centre
Please breathe in and hold your breath for a couple of seconds, and feel that you are holding the breath, which is life-energy, in your heart centre. This will help you to develop your inner meditation capacity.
2. Becoming aware of the breath
When you sit down to meditate, try to breathe in as slowly and quietly as possible, so that if somebody placed a tiny thread in front of your nose it would not move at all. And when you breathe out, try to breathe out even more slowly than you breathed in. If possible, leave a short pause between the end of your exhalation and the beginning of your inhalation. If you can, hold your breath for a few seconds. But if that is difficult, do not do it. Never do anything that will make you physically uncomfortable during meditation.
3 Breathing in peace and joy
The first thing that you have to think of when practising breathing techniques is purity. When you breathe in, if you can feel that the breath is coming directly from God, from Purity itself, then your breath can easily be purified. Then, each time you breathe in, try to feel that you are bringing infinite peace into your body. The opposite of peace is restlessness. When you breathe out, try to feel that you are expelling the restlessness within you and also the restlessness that you see all around you. When you breathe this way, you will find restlessness leaving you. After practising this a few times, please try to feel that you are breathing in power from the universe, and when you exhale, feel that all your fear is coming out of your body. After doing this a few times, try to feel that you are breathing in infinite joy and breathing out sorrow, suffering and melancholy.
4. Cosmic energy
Feel that you are breathing in not air but cosmic energy. Feel that tremendous cosmic energy is entering into you with each breath, and that you are going to use it to purify your body, vital, mind and heart. Feel that there is not a single place in your being that is not being occupied by the flow of cosmic energy. It is flowing like a river inside you, washing and purifying your entire being. Then, when you breathe out, feel that you are breathing out all the rubbish inside you – all your undivine thoughts, obscure ideas and impure actions. Anything inside your system that you call undivine, anything that you do not want to claim as your own, feel that you are exhaling.
This is not the traditional yogic pranayama, which is more complicated and systematised, but it is a most effective spiritual method of breathing. If you practise this method of breathing, you will soon see the results. In the beginning you will have to use your imagination, but after a while you will see and feel that it is not imagination at all but reality. You are consciously breathing in the energy which is flowing all around you, purifying yourself and emptying yourself of everything undivine. If you can breathe this way for five minutes every day, you will be able to make very fast progress. But it has to be done in a very conscious way, not mechanically.
5. Total breathing
When you reach a more advanced stage, you can try to feel that your breath is coming in and going out through every part of your body – through your heart, through your eyes, through your nose and even through your pores. Right now you can breathe only through your nose or your mouth, but a time will come when you will be able to breathe through every part of your body. Spiritual Masters can breathe even with their nose and mouth closed. When you have perfected this spiritual breathing, all your impurity and ignorance will be replaced by God’s light, peace and power.
by: Sri Chinmoy
(Photo by Phoolanjaya)