Take a deep breath.
Did you breathe in or did you breathe out? I've never met anyone who considered completely emptying their lungs first, then allowing a full lungful of air to force its way in.
My meditation method is so different, so simple and so effective that by the time you finish reading this post (3-4 minutes), you will know everything that you'll ever need to know. It's free.
While my approach to meditation is based on the devanagari/sanskrit word AUM (aka OM) and its relation to deep breathing - my technique is completely devoid of spirituality or religion. It is open to all religions and spirits.
This is the one and only, free, first and final, 20 minute instruction. After you've completed the Final Step, you will never again need to do Steps One and Two. The second (or third) time you take 15 minutes to practice the Final Step, you will experience the empty mind. Your first 15 minutes will result in you having more oxygen in your lungs and bloodstream than you've ever had in your life.
Thanks to aum, it's not hyperventilation. Aum also means that this meditation is not contemplation.
When you type the word aum into wikipedia, you are redirected to om.
Wiki says this about om : om is pronounced as a long or over-long nasalized close-mid back rounded vowel.
I say this about aum : aum is intoned as a self-regulating, diaphragmized, vowel-other. au- is an open vowel sound that we use to empty our lungs of air; and -m the other, of which Wiki knows not?
-m is the sound that happens when, using au-, you cannot empty any more air from your lungs, and air forces its way in. -m is the sound of the biggest intake of blood-fueling oxygen that you've ever inhaled.
For a person of average fitness and lung capacity, after very, very little practice, 15 minutes of au-m guided meditation will prove to be the equivalent of 3 hours sleep. Do it for an hour. Sit beneath a frangipani tree for a day.
We'll start with 15 minutes. Like I said, it will prove to be the equivalent of 3 hours of sleep so one of the sensations you should be able to notice right away is a feeling that you've just awakened from sleep!
Oh, and that reminds me. Au-m is a perfect template for the sounds of exhaling and inhaling, and as a template, it will fall away, unveiling Every Guru's Holy Grail : The Empty Mind.
There are (only) Three Steps to a lifetime of meditative practice. In the interest of understanding what the first Two Steps are endeavoring to achieve, read all of the Three Steps before beginning.
Don't skip the first Two Steps when you start, they may seem to be boring and childish - but they're important and you'll only need to do them this once.
WARNING! If you have or suspect you may have existing cardio-pulmonary issues, please refrain from taking part in this exercise! I think that my method is very useful for people with limited breathing capacity and those with heart problems, but the method requires some adjusting. I'll address this issue soon.
You'll need a reliable alarm clock that you triple check each time you set it, or a friend who can keep time.
Put on some loose-fitting clothes. If you either cannot sit in full lotus or half lotus, or you don't know what "lotus" is - sit on the floor with your legs crossed and your back against a wall, with your forearms resting on the top of your thighs with one hand, palm up, resting atop the other. Sit tall and straight.
I started this practice sitting with my back against a wall in a closet, so sit with your back against a wall if that's more comfortable. Be sure to sit up straight.
The breathing in all Three Steps is done through the nose, with the mouth closed. Be sure you read all Three Steps before beginning.
Set your alarm clock for 2 minutes. Triple check it. Close your eyes. Picture in your mind, in full colour, what you would imagine your lungs look like inside your chest cavity. Now, absolutely as slowly as you can, from the bottom up, empty them of air. Do this as slowly as you can. As you do it, in your mind's eye see the lung sacs slowly emptying, from the bottom up. Eventually you'll have to breathe in.
Let it happen naturally. Don't rush the inhalation and don't try to slow the inhalation down, but JUST BEFORE your lungs are full, start exhaling again.
When the alarm goes off or your friend touches your shoulder, open your eyes.
Set your alarm clock for 3 minutes. Triple check it. Close your eyes. Imagine your lung sacs are full of purple light. As slowly as possible, from the very bottom up, expel the purple light. In addition to being aware of emptying your lungs from the very bottom up, this time also use your solar plexus to slowly and evenly breathe purple light out into the world. Slowly, evenly, steadily, gently exhaling.
Again, when you (finally) are forced to inhale, stop just short of full and slowly start exhaling again, using the very bottom of your lungs in conjunction with your solar plexus.
When the alarm goes off or your friend touches your shoulder, open your eyes.
In the 1960s, thanks largely to the Beatles, an ancient Devanagari/Sanskrit word became a part of Western cultural iconography. The word was usually spelled om, but the spelling aum is more representative of how it's pronounced in India and is far more useful for our purposes.
When aum is separated into two parts, it becomes a Perfect Template for the process we engaged in in Steps 1 and 2. Why no one has discovered its best, most effective application until now is well beyond my comprehension.
For our purposes we will split aum into au- and -m.
au- best describes the sound we hear in our ears when we slowly, evenly, gently and steadily breathe out. There are no other letters or combinations of letters that relate as closely.
-m is what we hear naturally when we reflexively inhale after slowly emptying our lungs from the bottom up, using au-. The letter m relates best to the sound of inhaling.
Set your alarm clock for 15 minutes. Double check it. Close your eyes. Begin to breathe out slowly. Gently use your solar plexus to exhale as slowly as possible.
As you gently exhale air, the sound it makes as it passes your vocal chords is more closely related to au than any single vowel or combination of vowels. It's more subtle and reflexive than oo or o, hence my preference for aum over om.
Start and anchor au- in your solar plexus/diaphagm, hear au- as it happens naturally in your throat, "say" au- in your mind. The secret to this practice is hearing/making the au- sound for as long as you can on each exhalation.
Love the au-. Hear it for as long as you can on each exhalation. Start deep in the lungs. Be as gentle with your long, slow, au- exhaling as you can.
If your mind wanders, bring it back to au- and the template.
A good au- makes for waves of -mmmmm. You never really think of the -m, it's just what happens after au-. Well, you do think of -m if your mind wanders as you inhale.
Just be sure that just before the -m fills you right up - you end it by returning to your diaphragm and au-. Ending your inhalation just before your lungs are full is very important.
DO NOT TRY TO CONTROL OR RESTRICT THE INHALATION, just end it just before it is complete.
(If you have any doubt about how au- sounds, just listen to the sound you hear in your ears when your mouth is closed and you use just the muscles of your upper ribcage to push air out of your nose.)
That's it. Take 20 minutes and try it, you've got nothing to lose. Please let me know how it went for you, I would really appreciate hearing about your experience.
Be sure that you don't skip the First Two Steps, your technique WILL be less effective if you go straight to Step 3. You only need to do them this one time.
Is aum deep breathing meditation? If it delivers that old holy grail, an Empty Mind, I say yes. In addition, this practice is the most effective way for humans to oxygenate.