Good descriptions, regardless of whether it is 'full enlightenment'
[11:13 AM, 9/5/2020] Soh Wei Yu:
[11:46 AM, 9/5/2020] John Tan: I like his descriptions, quite good but may result in energy imbalances. Best is to practice breathing exercises and learn to regulate the energy into calmness...
Comments by Soh:
One good way to regulate energy through breathing exercise is to practice the vase breathing.
Here is an excerpt from “Open Mind, Open Heart” by Tsoknyi Rinpoche:
One of the methods that helped this woman and countles others cope with emotions is a practice that helps us draw lung back to its center, or “home.” For this, we use a special breathing technique as a tool, because breath is a physical correlation to the subtle wind energy of lung.
This technique is called vase breathing, and it involves breathing even more deeply than the type of deep diaphragmatic breathing often taught in many yoga and other types of classes with which people may be familiar.
The technique itself is rather simple. First, exhale slowly and completely, collapsing the abdominal muscles as close to the spine as possible. As you slowly breathe in, imagine that you’re drawing your breath down to an area about four finger widths below your navel, just above your pubic bone. This area is shaped a bit like a vase, which is why the technique is called vase breathing. Of course, you’re not really drawing your breath down to that region, but by turning your attention there, you will find yourself inhaling a bit more deeply than usual and will experience a bit more of an expansion in the vase region.
As you continue to draw your breath in and your attention down, your lung will gradually begin to travel down there and begin to rest there. Hold your breath down in the vase region just for a few seconds - don’t wait until the need to exhale becomes urgent - then slowly breathe out again.
Just breathe slowly this way three or four times, exhaling completely and inhaling down into the vase area. After the third or fourth inhalation, try holding a little bit of your breath - maybe 10 percent - in the vase area at the end of the exhalation, focusing very lightly and gently on maintaining a bit of lung in its home place.
Try it now.
Exhale completely and then breathe slowly and gently down to the vase area three or four times, and on the last exhalation, hold a little bit of breath in the vase area. Keep this up for about ten minutes.
How did that feel?
Maybe it was a little uncomfortable. Some people have said that directing their breath in this way is difficult. Others have said that doing so gave them a sense of calmness and centeredness they’d never felt before.
Vase breathing, if practiced ten or even twenty minutes every day, can become a direct means of developing awareness of our feelings and learning how to work with them even while we’re engaged in our daily activities. When our lung is centered in its home place, our bodies, or feelings, and our thoughts gradually find a healthy balance. The horse and rider work together in a very loose and easy way, neither trying to seize control or drive the other crazy. In the process, we find that subtle body patterns associated with fear, pain, anxiety, anger, restlessness, and so on gradually loosen up, that there’s a little bit of space between the mind and the feelings.
Ultimately the goal is to be able to maintain that small bit of breath in the vase area throughout the day, during all our activities - walking, talking, eating, drinking, driving. For some people, this ability becomes automatic after only a short while of practice. For others, it may require a bit more time.
I have to admit that, even after years of practicing, I still find that I sometimes lose my connection to my home base, especially when meeting with people who are very speedy. I’m a bit of a speedy person myself, and meeting other speedy people acts as a kind of subtle body stimulus. I get caught up in their restless and displaced energy and consequently become a bit restless, nervous, and sometimes even anxious. So I take what I call a reminder breath: exhaling completely, breathing down into the vase area, and then exhaling again leaving a little bit of breath in the lung’s home.”