The Art of Winning Blog

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Meditation and Healing

I was thinking today about my first experience of meditation and I can't remember if I've ever blogged about it. A quick version of the story is that I was 19 years old and had an anaphylactic reaction to an antibiotic. In the hospital, I kept hyperventilating so they wanted me to breathe into a paper bag. The problem was that I couldn't feel my face to know if I had a good seal so I'd slip and be hyperventilating and not know it. At some point, I realized I could hear the heart rate monitor and I realized that as long as it was beeping, then I was alive. Furthermore, if it was beeping steadily, then I wasn't hyperventilating. I used the rhythm of the beeping to know if I needed to adjust the bag. 

The obvious (omote) lesson here is that you can consciously control your breathing. A little more subtle lesson is that you can effect your entire body, including your mind, with your breathing. But I think the hidden (ura) lesson is the healing symbiosis of mind and breath. You can use your breath to feed your healing. It's obvious when we think about how our autonomic breathing is effected when we are injured but it's so instinctual that we take it for granted. Consider the possibility that the breathing is a healing response. What then does that mean for emotional healing? We have different breathing patterns as part of the elemental teachings. What if we thought of these as different healing methods. What would it possible for us to unlock?

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