Breathe…from deep within your being…focus on the breath…as it speaks to you. It was in Zen Shiatsu class, during meditation time, that I really began to understand the creative power of the breath. I had always been so cavalier about it all, breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out. For the first time ever, I was being taught to breathe not into my lungs, but into my hara. The hara is the area of the abdomen just below the belly button. This was not an easy task at all! This is supposed to be relaxing?!?! The hara is related to our divine power and essence, and is also known as the “Sea of Energy”. So, here I am making my best attempt at multitasking. I am focusing on my posture and keeping my spine straight, breathing into my hara as best I can, attempting to clear my mind of “clutter”, and to top it all off, trying to relax! It took me several weeks to realize that I was just trying too hard. I found that when I allowed my body to just go with the flow, that hara breathing became effortless.
Several months into my course, I had the most astonishing thing happened! During meditation, I breathed into my hara, and a wave of emotion welled up from within the deepest parts of me. I took another deep breath, and it happened again! I continued for the next few minutes, and breath after breath, brought the same results. I needed to know more about this, and what I was experiencing.
My Zen Shiatsu teacher was very insightful, and patient. He explained to me that we hold physical, emotional and mental blockages within us, created by all of the experiences that we have ever had in our lifetime. This can even include other lifetimes. He went on to explain, that we often “bottle up” or “stuff down” what we perceive as negative experiences. When we do this, it creates the energy blockages within us that cause pain, discomfort, and dis-ease of all types, in order to get our attention. Ahhh, and here’s the kicker! When we breathe into our hara, the power of the breath actually helps to release these blockages. There was so much more priceless knowledge that I learned during that year. I learned to decipher what I was feeling at any given time, what emotions others were feeling when I came into contact with them, but most importantly, I learned how to unlock the blockages inside of me. I don’t think that I truly realized the amazing gifts that I gave myself that year, but I was soon to find out.
I began to get very creative with my breathing. I thought, if breathing into my hara releases energy blockages within me, what would happen if I breathed directly into any pain or tension I was feeling? I found the results to be remarkable! Anytime I would feel a pain anywhere, I would take a few moments to breath into that area of my body while focusing on it. Usually within a few breaths, the pain or discomfort was either gone or greatly alleviated. Holy Cow!!! Talk about your holistic healing! I got really good at knowing what emotion was attached to the energy blockages within, and even what event in my life had caused the blockage. I had always felt very “heavy” emotionally, and carried with me a bit of a doom and gloom attitude. It was very empowering to know that I could transform the negativity that I had carried with me most of my life. As the blockages were released from me, I began to feel lighter and lighter.
After becoming so very intimate with my breath, I now know that our breath is so much more than just giving us life. Contained within our breath is the very essence of our creator. It is our connection to all that is, and to each other. We all breath in the same loving and creative energies each day, that connect us all, and remind us that we are beloved sparks of our creator. I will never doubt again how loved I am, and how blessed I am in receiving such a sacred gift. I breathe in the divine love and blessings, and allow them to permeate my being…one sacred breath at a time.