Breath

29 02 2008

Breath seems extremely important to many spiritual experiences. Breathing correctly is a core teaching in many spiritual disciplines. A practice of meditation will almost always begin with calm, deep, regular breathing. In most churches, although breath is not focussed upon, singing often plays a significant part of worship, and it’s difficult to sing without breath.

This begs the question; Are spiritual experiences connected with breathing?  I remember reading a long time ago, and I’m very vague about the details,  about a theory that spiritual experiences are somehow caused by an increased supply of oxygen to the brain. I’m not so sure that I believe this. If the theory were true why don’t athletes, or people in the gym, experience lots of spiritual moments.

What I do know is true is my own experiences of meditative breathing. When I consciously take long, deep breaths I certainly feel different. I often feel a warm peaceful glow in my chest, a calmness in my arms and legs, and strength in my back. Other times I might feel a tingling up my spine and over my scalp.

Is it the breath or my focussed attention that brings on these feelings?

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First Post

21 02 2008

My name is Phill Jenkins and this blog is about me; my journey; my life. A diary, a stream of consciousness, an Artists Way daily page (or almost daily). It’s an exploration of what it is to be … me.

It doesn’t really matter if no-one else ever reads it.

Last night I was on team for the first session of a course, The Power Of Purpose, taught by a local More To Life‘mentor’. It’s a course about finding and living your life’s purpose. I’ve taught it myself, several times before, but since moving to Manchester I thought it would be a good idea to refresh my understanding of the course material by being on the support team.

Just in case someone does read this, I stress here that this blog is not in any way an official More To Life blog. I do not intend to ‘sell’ More To Life, or it’s courses, or ‘evangelise’ about the More To Life programme. The opinions expressed herein are my own.

The mentor has asked that the team simply participate in the course material wherever possible. It’s a small course and so there’s not much support required and I’m able to do almost all the exercises and be very much ‘in’ the course.

And it’s got me thinking. Thinking about what I want from life; what I want to create; what I want to do and be. Thinking about what my purpose in life is. And this train of thought crept in to the title of this blog.

I see these questions as being of fundamental importance, and not just for me. Many people are struggling to understand their purpose on this planet. To know, not just theoretically, but in their heart, why they are here and what they can do and be to fulfill their purpose in life.

I am not a religious person. I don’t go to church nor believe in the Christian God. However, I think that seeking the answers to these questions is a spiritual quest. A journey, exploring what it is to be a human being.