KABIR - Beloved Sufi Poet
Are you looking for me? I am in the next seat.
My shoulder is against yours.
You will not find me in Stupas, not in Indian Shrine rooms,
nor in Synagogues, nor in cathedrals: not in masses,
nor kirtans, not in legs winding around your own neck,
nor in eating nothing but vegetables.
When you really look for me, you will see me instantly.
You will find me in the tiniest house of time.
Kabir says: Student, tell me, what is god?
He is the breath inside the breath.
Kabir - translated by Robert Bly
Prana exists in all living things and all living things exist within Prana. It is the pure vital energy that sustains life as we know it from within and without. Yogically speaking, from a human beings experience, the densest form of prana is drawn in through the breath to the lungs enriching our oxygen levels and absorption into the blood stream. The most subtle form of prana is the quality of our consciousness and thought processes.
Breathing serves many purposes besides being the fundamental thread linking birth to death and functions as a bridge between your body and mind over which fresh energy travels freely. Breathing re-charges the electrical currents in and around the body, balancing the vibrational messaging that regulates the heart beat, calming the nervous system, improving physical balance and your sensitivity of sensory awareness. The correct flow of Prana via the nasal passages and subtle energy channels known as Nadis, helps to re-balance right and left hemispheres of the brain generating more clarity thereby enriching your cognitive and intuitive perception.
The flow of breath has many associations and connections that influence the relationship between the body, mind and emotions yet despite being fundamental to our existence is largely untapped as a source for healing. The depth through which breathing influences the conscious and subconscious mind is a science within itself and is at the very core of Ayurveda and Yoga, practiced as Pranayama breathing techniques and Pranic Healing. This is to be discovered by the yogi and you will know.
The benefits of conscious breathing are all embracing. The increased intake of Prana becomes an organic medicine that can transform your physical well-being as well as the nature of your psycho-spiritual experience. When high levels of oxygen and prana are absorbed this generates an internal chemistry that produces more neutralizing, calming Alkalinity to circulate through your bloodstream enriching the quality of your blood cells, reducing inflammation and regenerating visceral tissue. This is your natural internal pharmacy of bio-chemical change and regeneration boosting healing and reducing symptoms of stress. This naturally helps you to feel happier which by default makes you healthier. It’s a win win situation.
The cycle of repair is also stimulated by generating happy, creative and peaceful thoughts that equally relax the central nervous system creating harmonious vibrations of well-being. These vibrations then trigger the body to manufacture essential hormones through the ductless glands of the endocrine system. As these hormones flow throughout your body via the bloodstream to all the organs and muscles they become neuro-chemicals that contain the ingredients that alter your chemistry restoring healthy genes. This whole process in turn purifies your lymphatic system via the blood cells thereby boosting the immune system, strengthening your ability to naturally detox and overcome many kinds of common infection or ill health.
On the other hand, all forms of tension or negativity, whether caused by injury, pain, poor posture, anger, jealousy, anxiety or stress can produce toxic levels of agitation in the form of neuro-chemicals such as cortisol or adrenaline that creates acidity in the bloodstream, which eventually deteriorates the physical bodily tissue damaging the efficiency of many bodily functions. Acidity is degenerative and corrosive, causing inflammation, weakening connective tissue, digestion, elimination, bones viscera and most importantly the innate power of healing potential and regeneration within you. These acidic conditions can also affect the balance of the brain as the nutrients required to think with clarity are depleted and may manifest as loss of patience, sleeplessness, poor concentration and depression amongst many other psychological imbalances.
Psycho-neuro-immunology is a term used by neuro scientists to show that there are verifiable bio-chemical links between our psychology (the way we think), the nervous system and the seven endocrine glands which secrete neuro-chemicals into the blood stream and govern our overall health, our moods and immunity. These key endocrine glands are connected to the seven main chakras which further influences the dynamic experience of our subtle human consciousness.
Though relatively new to Western thinking, this knowledge has been the foundation of Yogic philosophy for centuries. This philosophy, Vedanta, teaches that all the internal activities of our human life form are connected and therefore the importance of acknowledging the whole person is essential in order to awaken the innate spirituality of our unique human potential.
Significant change happens when the body and mind are in repose, in a relaxed and receptive state of being. Consider that stillness is not the absence of movement, it is in fact a fertile and nourishing environment for psychological and emotional integration. Movement is the forerunner of change. Real change occurs in the midst of seeming stillness when energy is vibrating at such an intensely subtle level, that it can only be perceived through the internal environment of the senses and not the physical eye. Here you have the space and pause to perceive, reflect and accept the sensations of change that are arising. The relationship of the body-mind integrates change through stillness allowing the body to transform itself naturally with significance.
In deep states of relaxation and meditation Theta Waves have been monitored flowing from the brain, which signify a calm, highly attuned, aware yet detached quality of consciousness that can also be interpreted as a transcendent state of mind. These Theta Waves influence the internal pharmacy of your miraculous human form to manufacture and distribute dynamic neuro chemicals and hormones such as Serotonin and Endorphins that give positive, uplifting and elevated feelings to our whole being forming harmonious waves of restoration. A sense of fulfilment and contentment can arise and it is within this composed internal environment that the molecules of your psychological, emotional and physical make up have an opportunity to naturally re-align, restructure and rebuild themselves. This is the purpose of Savassana, the Asana of Repose known as Corpse Pose when Prana is fully integrated and saturates your being and beyond post any yoga practice.
Realising the power of your breath is a key to unlock the passage to peace. It is always there for you as a friend and ally. The breath is the inner mistress of the master yogi and yogini which could be depicted as the yin yang symbol of male and female integration. You have given birth to the breath and the breath has given birth to you; your consciousness.