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Breathing Exercises (Jerry S.)

Jul 05, 1996 06:45 AM
by Jim Meier

Hi Jerry --

yesterday you wrote,
"Breathing exercises are just devices or techniques.  There is no right or
wrong way to do it."

Really?  How do you know this?  This goes straight to the matter of
"prudence/ danger/psychism/consequences of action," I think.  As Maxim
pointed out in an earlier post, it is the mental aspect of pranayama which
is responsible for the direction of energy and manipulation of substance.
Your post would seem to indicate you don't think it's possible to use energy
in a wrong way -- is that what you're saying?  If not, then breathing
exercises are a "technique" to what end?

In a later post you wrote, regarding my "damn the torpedos" remark:
"Jim, I think you missed the whole point, at least the one that I was trying
to make."

Well, it wouldn't be the first time I've misunderstood what somebody here
was trying to say.  :)  But as Chuck pointed out, I think you've taken my
comments to be directed at your earlier post, and they were not.  Having
said that, you went on to make a very valid point about desire/aspiration as
a controlling factor in any individual's experience.  

Finally, you addressed an earlier post of mine in this way,
Jim: Pranayama is the science of energy manipulation, and psychism is not
the only possible outlet or effect.
Jerry: In what way does pranayama manipulate energy (I assume here that you
equate energy with prana)?  My own experience and study led me to believe
that Kundalini Yoga manipulates prana by forcing it up the sushumna nadi and
through the chakras.  Where does pranayama send prana to?  Patanjali never
even mentions the nadis or chakras.

Actually, there's quite a bit in the Sutras about the chakras; for example,
the seven methods of attainment listed in Book I to overcome the Obstacles
and Hindrances each correlate to one of the seven centers.  
Method I:  Sutra 33, solar plexus center
Method II: Sutra 34, center at the base of the spine -- this is the
reference to kundalini "yoga" that you mention
Method III:Sutra 35, center between the eyebrows
and so on.

"Energy follows thought," and pranayama is a way of directing *by conscious
action* the flow of energy and, consquently, the use of force.  "Where does
pranayama send energy to" -- wherever the yogi directs it.  Assuming "the
Above and Below have been brought together and made to act harmoniously"
(see earlier posting on Magic Chuck/2), that is; otherwise, energy travels
through habitual paths, generally through the centers below the diaphragm.
When the possibility opens to use the higher centers, then the throat center
can be used for creative purposes (as one example).   EVERYONE manipulates
force all the time; it's just that most people don't do it consciously, or
very well.  That's the point of Raja Yoga -- to effect the integration of
the personality with the Soul by the process of occult meditation.  Yoga --
in the preceeding definition  -- should be the goal of every student who has
considered the possibility of Union.  How we each go about it results in all
the differences of opinion expressed in our particular Society.  IMO, that's
one of the best things about Theosophy --  no one tells you what you have to
believe, except "there is no religion higher than Truth."


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