“I put a wide variety of methods before you, because I know that the needs of each one of you are different. Your characters, faculties, and capacity for work are all different, and only you can decide which method suits you best. You must not try to apply them all. It would be dangerous to do so. Concentrate on just a few methods—four or five, six or seven—and use them for a work in depth.”
This is the second monthly mini-series on methods and practices.
Our breathing exercises take the form of alternate nostril breathing commonly practised in Hatha Yoga traditions. They are used to develop inner qualities, strengthen the will, calm the nervous system and vitalize the body.
Breathing affects not only our physical life but all manifestations of our psychic life. Meditation, prayer and ecstasy are all forms of breathing. All the rhythms of our organism can be harmonised with the rhythms of the cosmic breath.
Breathing is a form of nutrition, and just as we have to chew our food thoroughly, in the same way, when we breathe, we should ‘chew’ the air. When you breathe in you should hold the air in your lungs (which are a kind of stomach) until they have had time to assimilate fully all the nutritional substances it contains. If you expel the air from your lungs almost at once, you reject these substances before your organism has had time to extract the beneficial elements.
Basic breathing exercise
– normally done in the morning before the first meal:
- Begin by closing your left nostril and breathing in deeply through the right nostril, to the count of 4.
- Hold your breath to the count of 16.
- Close your right nostril and breathe out through the left nostril to the count of 8.
- Still with the right nostril closed, breathe in through the left nostril to the count of 4.
- Hold your breath to the count of 16.
- Breathe out through the right nostril to the count of 8.
Repeat these six steps six times in all. If you are capable of doing so, you can double the time of each movement, counting 8, 32, 16. Read more…
Additional breathing exercises
Deep breathing can be extremely efficacious in healing your nervous system and treating many other disorders. If you have a deficiency of calcium, sodium, iodine, etc., a doctor would prescribe vitamin or mineral supplements, whereas an initiate would begin by advising the absorption of these elements on the etheric plane by means of breathing exercises.
The way to do this is extremely simple: while breathing, you concentrate on the idea that you are taking from the air whatever element is lacking. Yes, your body is well aware of what it needs; it has its own team of very efficient chemists who are able to extract the substances you need from the air you breathe. This is why disciples can never be content with the medicines sold in a pharmacy. They prefer to breathe with love, knowing that they can draw the elements they need from the atmosphere.
But this is not all: you can also draw into yourself substances, forces, and particles from the world above, such as light, peace, and an abundance of life-giving elements. When you breathe, therefore, you should seek to draw into yourself the spiritual elements that you most need at the time. Here are four Mental exercises to accompany the basic breathing exercise.
- Choose four virtues that you are particularly anxious to develop: while breathing in to the count of 4, say the names of these four virtues mentally.While holding your breath to the count of 16, repeat the four names four times.
As you breathe out, say to yourself: ‘I expel all…’ and mention the four faults or vices that are the opposite of the four virtues you have chosen.
- While breathing in, say inwardly: ‘Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to breathe this pure air and the divine life with which you have filled it.’While holding your breath: ‘May this divine life penetrate my whole body and give it life and health.’ While breathing out: ‘I shall manifest this life I have received through all my actions, for the glory of God.’
- While breathing in: ‘My God, may your name be blessed in me.’While holding your breath: ‘My God, may your kingdom and your righteousness be established in me.’While breathing out: ‘My God, may your will be done in me.’
- While breathing in, repeat the names of four virtues twice.While breathing out, think of the angels of the four elements who are working to rid you of all impurities: the angel of fire in your brain; the angel of air in your lungs and heart; the angel of water in your stomach, intestines, and sexual organs; and the angel of earth in your whole body.
More details can be found in:
The brochure, Respiration – Spiritual Dimensions and Practical Applications
The book Complete Works, Vol. 13 ‘A New Earth – Methods, Exercises, Formulas and Prayers’