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.
A lotta folks have been convinced that hyperventilation is meditation. My practice is the exact polar opposite of that, and my idea about what meditation is and what it means couldn't be more different from all the (alleged) gurus and (alleged) "spiritual" meditation teachers.
They would have you (in every case, pay to) go to (5-10) meditation classes, attend a (week-long) meditation seminar or fly off to a (1-3 month-long) meditation retreat (usually far from home).
My method is so different, so simple and so (uber-)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 (aka The Deepest Breath) is based on the devanagari/sanskrit word AUM (aka OM) and its relation to deep breathing - my technique is completely devoid of spirituality, religion and guru-ism (aka No Funky Holy Woman/Man Vibe Whatsoever).
This is the one and only, 100% free, first and final, fifteen minute instruction.
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 inhaled since Dr. Nick smacked you on your newborn baby bottom.
(A good au- will make some of you snort like oxygen hogging hogs during the -m)
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, (bigshots).
We'll start with 15 minutes. Like I said, it's 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 a 3 hour nap!
Oh yeah - 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 (Hokum) Guru's Holy Grail :
The Empty Mind (aka Benefits)!
Let's get it done.
There are (only) Three Steps to a lifetime of meditative practice. In the interest of understanding what the first Two Steps are endeavouring to achieve, read all of the Three Steps before beginning. Don't skip the first Two Steps when you start, they're 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 that you can trust to behave sensibly.
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 the bottom of 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 inhaltion down, but JUST BEFORE your lungs are full, start exhaling again.
When the alarm goes off or your sensible 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 [corny sounding, I know that - see my other blog, freemeditate21]. 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 trusted 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 (even if the inhaling that you'll be doing will be, relatively speakin', thunderous).
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 start to gently expel air, when it passes your vocal chords, the sound it makes 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 to 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-.
Start deep in the lungs. Be as gentle with your long, slow, au- exhaling as you can. Make it last. 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 when 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, Bigshot. Let me know how it went for you, baby. 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, No Mind, I say yes. In addition, this practice is the most effective way for humans to oxygenate.
You're welcome in advance? I dare say so, my beaches.
PS. You hogsnorters will learn to control your snorting, like, almost right away, lol...