Saturday, October 29, 2005

My breathing meditation

As a high school student I attended a seminar on alter states of consciousness. I recall clearly the frigid motorcycle ride from where I was living in Martinez to Berkeley. At that seminar I learned how to enter a state of self-hypnosis. At the time I was also very much into lifting weights, like most young men I wanted to be big and strong. You may be asking yourself what in the world do these two things have in common. It's actually very simple. One of the keys to the techniques I learned while attending the seminar was how to breath deeply without tensing up. I actually discovered the technique on my own while lifting weights in the high school gym. After high school I entered the Marine Corps where I applied the same technique to running, with the exception that my breathing would be to a specific cadence, step-inhale-step-inhale-step-exhale-step-exhale. I was certain to always create a very low sound with each exhale, the sound would allow me to focus on the breaths and take my mind away from the exhaustion and pain I might be experiencing. Once I left active duty I started my academic career and one winter a friend and I got jobs at a ski resort, I became grossly involved in snowboarding and once again I used the same breathing technique when carving the snow. My best memories of snowboarding are when my mind, my breath and my body were moving in unison down the hill, during these experience's I would set a rhythm in my mind and move my body and breath to that rhythm. What great fun it was.

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