The following is the breathing exercise that I do. The description will become rather, but I don't know any other way to do it. The object of the exercise, beyond the obvious, is also rather esoteric to me as well. However, it does seem to provide some benefit.
- Sit on your ankles, cross-legged, leaning against a wall, or any comfortable position, as long as your back is very straight.
- Take two deep breaths, raising your arms up and out to sides during each one, to help expand the chest. Exhale by allowing your chest to collapse when your arms come quickly down. Let them fall; don't pull them.
- From now on:
- Close your eyes.
- Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth and nose. Breathe in by pushing out with your stomach muscles. Breathe out by tightening your stomach muscles. Avoid using expansion of the chest for breathing. It will occur naturally, but try not to do it.
- If at some point in the exercise you feel as if you are not getting enough air, repeat the two breathes as described at the start of the exercise.
- Try to imagine the air as visible, perhaps glowing, white, muddy water, or a cloud of sparkles. Visualize it moving in and out of your mouth, down through your body, and to a point about four inches below, and three inches behind your navel. I will refer to this as your 'center point' or 'center'. Others may refer to this as your 'one point', etc.
- Try to achieve a regular rhythm of breathing in which you consciously control a smooth, even, sufficient flow. It one of the major objectives of this exercise to get this control to become nearly un- or sub-conscious.
- At some point early in the exercise, after you have been able to regularize the rhythm of your breathing, have the visible flow of air pass through any point or points in your body that hurt. Do them one at a time, for several breathes.
- At some point later in the exercise, start visualizing all the air in your immediate environment slowly, in time with your breathing, compacting itself on the surface of your body. Once this is accomplished, visualize your entire body slowly compacting, in time with your breathing, into a small ball at your center point. Remain in this state for a short time, trying to experience the solidity and compressed power you now are.
- Later, start slowly expanding your being from this ball, in time with your breathing. Slowly move it out to the outline of your body. Try not to feel as if this is the final resting place of the expansion. Once this is done, expand your being out farther, stopping briefly at the boundaries of the room, or immediate area, then going on out towards infinity, where you disappear, except for an awareness of self, and your breathing. The breathing should be almost unconscious by now. While you are here, experience the your lightness of being, and the vast perceptivity that is now yours. Become nothing, and one with everything.
- Later, allow a slight focus to evolve in the region of your lower forehead. Visualize the immediate area as a swarm of small sparkles, in which this disembodied focus gently floats. While you are here, experience the peace, relaxation, and harmony that are yours.
- When you have completed, start slowly bringing back your body and awareness from the infinite. In time with your breathing, bring yourself and limitless energy back to the normal confines of your body.
When you have returned, you have a choice. If you wish to remain low-energy and peaceful when you stop the exercise, open your eyes while feeling the energy existing in your body with a feeling similar to having just taken a warm, deep drink when you have been cold, and slowly get up. If you wish to remain higher-energy and active, take two deep breathes as you did at the start of the exercise, open your eyes while feeling the energy crackle on and through your body, and get up. In either case, if the exercise is at the end of a formal class, you may wish to perform a bow before rising.