by Win Wenger, Ph.D.
Winsights No. 29 (May 1999)
In March, we introduced you here to the basic nature of the “Calm-Breathing Patterns” and gave you a working example of the particular pattern of “Relief Breathing.”
We explored a little of how breathing, which you can do deliberately, is also part of the automatics of your body. Thus, your breathing is a bridge communicating between your conscious actions and intention and the other automatics of your body. Heartbeat, biochemistry and psychochemistry, Including the organs, the very tissues and even the individual cells, as you will see later in this briefing, you can effectively enhance and communicate with and even redirect if need be. The combination of breathing pattern, imagery, and focussed physical remembered (or imagined) sensation, allows you to do some remarkably helpful things within your own body and mind.
Your mind, brain and body are a closely linked organic whole. Everything within the organism has bearing on and affects, and is affected by, everything else within that organism.
Stress and tension
One example of body-mind-brain interplay is to imagine—as clearly and vividly as you can—standing on some narrow precarious ledge 40 floors up. Picture and feel that precarious-ledge situation as absolutely as you can. … Now feel for where that experience is stressing in your body …
Now let go that feeling, of course. If that feeling had been allowed to remain “locked in” to those stressed parts of the body, you would be going around feeling precarious, and possibly finding various reasons why this or that situation was disquieting.
But, in point of fact, nearly everyone has, locked into their bodies, some counterparts of precarious-ledge experience. Guilt, fear, or even some physical hurt are stored so continuously that it isn’t even noticed, yet keeps on shaping our ongoing experiences (and even our very bodies!), creating situations of self-fulfilling prophecy and producing the various other major and minor maladjustments which flesh/mind is prone to.
Relieving stress, raising human potential
One of the things our book Beyond O.K. teaches is how to focus breathing patterns on stressed areas of the body to remove the chronic tension patterns of being frozen on that ledge.
There is far more to this matter of breathing/self-reconditioning, and of breathing generally, than we ourselves can hope to get around to investigating any time soon. (We also face a similar problem with each of a dozen other major tracks of discovery.) Researchers, and qualified therapists of whatever discipline, are urged to contact us, both for operational information on processes and programs which can be used for therapeutic purposes, and for suggested areas needing further research.
Meanwhile, what you are pulling onto your screen here, in the passages immediately following, represents a fair start, useful in many directions besides those of healing and therapy.
The following is not a therapy as such. We are not interested in practicing therapy, however much some of its processes may be usefully turned in that direction. We in Project Renaissance orient on upward human potential rather than on just patching people up to OK. Nowadays, the best consulting with the aid of these and related techniques is available through coaching by phone. Meanwhile, anyone who wishes to can learn more of the system from the book Beyond O.K.
“Calm-Breathing Patterns” is a set of step-by-step instructions to do. Like the energy instructions in the same above-mentioned book, and like others of our protocols published elsewhere, the value of the following is in the doing and experiencing, not in whatever mere information is written here.
All information is subject to error, including whatever information you find here. Only your own experience is fully worth trusting. Creating key sectors of your experience is what this work is all about. These are the step-by-step instructions for creating a very special set of experiences and skills.
(Allow yourself a good uninterrupted half-hour.)
You can conduct yourself through this protocol from the printed instructions. Or you can work with someone else as a partner, taking turns guiding each other through. Or you may prerecord these instructions onto tape and follow them as the tape plays back. In pre-recording a tape, or in guiding a group with these instructions, replace each of the questions with the instruction to “Notice … ” whatever is being asked about. Allow 2-3 seconds’ pause after each phrase or sentence, long enough for the instruction to be followed or the indicated experience experienced.
- Begin with a good deep stretch …
- For perhaps five minutes, breathe in very deeply, slowly, taking six seconds or longer to do so. And breathe out likewise very deeply, slowly, taking six seconds or longer … all one continuous breathing in and breathing out six seconds or longer each way … savor the long, slow, deep, calm, luxurious passage of each breath … with each breath out, from all over see how much more you can let go …
- Breathe as deeply as you can, not only on inhale but exhale. So deeply on the exhale that you get your lungs as empty as you possibly can, then from those empty lungs blow out an imaginary candle a foot in front of your face—that’s how deeply to exhale …
- Then smoothe all that out so it’s all one smooth, calm, deep, continuous, luxurious, almost sensual inhale-exhale-inhale, with each breath out see from all over just how much more you can simply let go …
- Use each next breath, if you can, to reach for further ranges of both these effects: each breath in to feel as much more luxurious as possible than did the previous breath in; with each breath out to discover how much more you can simply let go of than with the previous breath out.
Continue this breathing pattern. After 3 to 5 minutes begin studying its effects on the way you feel, while continuing this breathing pattern. Still continuing this calm breathing pattern, now begin to modify it with the images (and feelings) described below, and to study the changes these images automatically cause in your breathing and in the ways you feel…
- With each breath in, begin imagining (even picturing and feeling, if possible) that your air is coming in through the bottoms of your feet, all the way up from there. Breathe in as if you have to pull your air all the way up through ankles, legs and body, up to where you can breathe out through normal channels. (Perhaps picturing a nose in your feet might help, a nostril in the bottom of each foot between mid-arch and toes.) With each breath, breathe in against the pull of your air having to make its way up through the tissues and cells of your feet, ankles, legs and lower body … Continue for several minutes, examining the effects you feel from this procedure …
- Picture or imagine piles of dried leaves or other debris being swirled up with each breath, out of your tissues and cells. Experience this stuff as being swirled up by each incoming breath, swirled up from the breath-swept tissues of your feet, legs and body, and swept up out of you on your deeply exhaled breath. Experience this as vividly as you can, with every breath. Sweep all that stuff cleanly out of you with your breath. (let all these leaves or debris represent all “noise”— tensions, toxins, tiredness, other pollutants which didn’t belong there.)
- As these clouds of “noise” sweep cleanly out of you on your slowly, deeply, calmly exhaled breath, as all this debris hits the open air, see it flaming into showers of bright sparks!
(Even “noise” is energy: there is no such thing as “bad” energy, only congested energy compared to free flowing, useful energy, so that when this stuff is swept from “bad” configurations and hits the open air, it becomes good clean usable life-enhancing energy again.)
Sweep up as much of that stuff as you can with each and every incoming breath, blowtorch out that shower of bright sparks with your breath, deeply and softly breathed out as the flame of a blowtorch, and see how much more, with each breath out, you can fill the space around you with good released energy …
Continue for some minutes, studying the effects you feel from doing this…
- Breathe in not only through your feet but through whatever parts of your body come to your attention in this context….. Breathe in against the pull of the air having to come in through the tissues and cells of each such part, swirl up as much “noise” as you can with each breath in; blowtorch out as much released energy in bright hot spark-showers as you can, with each breath …
(You may find it interesting to make mental note of just which parts of your body do come to your attention in this context, for you to breathe in through and to thereby swirl up and remove even subliminal “noise” from….)
Continue for several minutes, studying the effects you feel from this pattern of breathing and imaging.
- In the same manner, use your breath to breathe up and away whatever could have in the slightest stood belween you and even more profound levels of relaxed awareness. Continue this breathing-goal for several minutes, studying the effects you feel from it …
(In the same manner, use your breath to sweep up and away any feeling of discomfort, whenever experienced and not just during these exercises. Throughout your life, make it a reflex to respond to any problem, discomfort, difficulty or distress by this deep, slow, calm, releasing, noise-removal breathing. Emphasize breathing slowly when dealing with any distress … But first, before using this breathing on specific “targets” and problems, get in, over several sessions, a total of at least an hour’s worth of this type of breathing, emphasizing the clarity and pleasure aspects especially, to build your general comfort levels.)
For future reference—If and when you like: think back to some situation, relating to problems or difficulties or hurts you have experienced, and “breathe on it” in this manner, drawing up and away any static or negative feelings out of that experience, until you feel perfectly, wholly, comfortable while clearly recalling all aspects of that situation …. )
- In the same manner, for several minutes before any task, creative work, schooling or performance of whatever nature, picture your goal for that activity and breathe up and away whatever could in the slightest have impeded full swift rich clean attainment of that goal—then go directly into that work and let fly!
- In the same manner, breathe up and away whatever could in the slightest have impeded your clear, rich perception of beauty or of some insight ….
- Continue to noise-removal breathe. but let yawns come up if they will. Enjoy.
- Stretch deeply a time or so and continue noise breathing. This may well either trigger or intensify the yawning—deep. intense, repeated yawns which cleanse out anxiety, fear, all sorts of stuff. Every dozen or so breaths, stretch deeply and luxuriously again, even if you have to force the stretching, to encourage the yawns to come, and continue such stretch-interspersed breathing for as long as the yawns are flowing….
- Even reflect back on some situation about which you have felt anxious, fearful or even angry, “breathe on that situation” as above until all yawns are exhausted from it….Study the effects of all this yawning on the way you feel about that situation. and on the way you feel generally….
- In this same manner, reflect back on some situation about which you have felt anger or annoyance, or some person at whom vou have felt (or should have felt) such irritation …. even some petty annoyance, no matter how unjustified or inappropriate it seems for you to be irritated by such a matter …
Note the shower of bright, hot sparks riding each deeply exhaled breath out….blowtorch your deeply exhaled breath slowly, see if you can singe the far wall or ceiling with the shower of hot bright sparks riding each breath out…
All this is, of course, good clean life energy, released from whatever had held it in undesired configurations. There is no way to hurt anyone with good clean life energy; what you want to do is to burn up the left-over irritation “noise,” burn up the bases of anger between you and that situation or person, burn up the negative frame-of-reference in which you and this situation or person are holding each other …
- Picture that situation or person (eventually, each such situation or. person) with which you’ve felt some such irritation. Shower your sparks on that picture and see what and how much you can burn up with your sparks….really blowtorch that shower of released hot sparks out and let things evolve …
Examine how much this release changes sensations here and there in your body, see how much you can release into these showers of bright sparks …
Study the effects of this blowtorching on the way you feel about that situation or person, and on the way you feel generally…
- Now project these showers of bright sparks as a way of adding good clean life energy lo whatever/whoever was involved …make this energy an outright gift, study the way that unreservedly giving this energy to this person or situation now feels to you …
lf you feel any hesitancy or reservation whatever, go back and forth between “burning up the pictures” with your hot blowtorch showering sparks, and using those sparks to give the gift of good clean life energy, until you find yourself feeling wholly comfortable and unreserved about the whole thing, or until any remaining formerly suppressed anger releases in laughter.
Rest absolutely for a minute or so, studying your changed bodily sensations and any insights you have gained during this process. Then:
- Remember the delicious smell of vanilla. or of some other delicious aroma—bread baking in the oven, pine trees, roast in the oven, lilacs, freshly-mowed lawn, frying onions, some special perfume—remember some delicious aroma and breathe that aroma in deeply …
- Breathe in as if you were smelling and sensing that delicious scent, breathe in slowly, deeply and rewardingly as if you were drawing in that wonderful scent …
As you take these satisfaction-breaths, these deeply-satisfying breaths, discover where in your body this delicious smell seems to come to …. satisfaction-breathe in this delicious aroma until you are clear on where in your body this scent seems to come to …
- Now breathe in “through” that part of your body where you felt this aromatic breath come to, breathe in more and more of this delicious aroma through there deeply, slowly, rewardingly—see if, through there, you can fill your whole system with this utterly delicious, rewarding smell…
Make this aroma still more delicious … exhilarate your entire system with these utterly rewarding breaths….continue this exhilarating breathing for several minutes…
- Examine how you now feel …. take a kind of mental photograph of how good and how profound all this feels now …
With this mental photograph, later you can easily recall what this feels like and come back to this same range of clarity and good feeling just by remembering it …. so then you can do this breathing to go further rather than just to get to the same ranges of effects …
- Study the clear, deep, peaceful, exhilarated feeling you now have from this breathing you’ve been doing …. Use your memory of this feeling, next time, to re-create this feeling, then use this breathing to go beyond this feeling to even better, cleaner, more profound ranges of experience…
Notice especially how it feels to have your system so noise-free, so clean, clear, released, so much of the stuff that hadn’t belonged simply swept away …. Being so free of “noise” frees your system to re-integrate toward even better health and well-being than before: enjoy it!
- Reintegrate to here and now—refreshed, clear, feeling extraordinarily good!—and ready to take on whatever is before you.
Did you have any difficulty discovering something you felt anger or annoyance toward? Interestingly enough, most people do. Yet suppressed anger is one of America’s (and other modern nations’) main source of health problems. Irritation and anger are experienced, to greater or lesser degree, by everyone at various times. It is the long-term suppression of such feelings which causes difficulty. Take the head of steam down on your backlog of annoyances and, after a while, you will no longer need to suppress and can safely express, in situation-specific, appropriate ways, such feelings when and if annoying situations arise. Especially if you had difficulty discovering a time and circumstance in which you had felt anger toward something or someone, search out such earlier experiences in your life and “blowtorch-breathe” at least a few of these until they are free and clean.
Using “Calm-Breathing Patterns” to heighten your career productivity
In any work, before any major task—and before any creative task, especially—noise-removal breathe for several minutes ant then go straight into the work.
Even the first time you do this, results will seem like a miracle. Your work flies straight, true and clean—no false starts, no hesitations, error rate is almost nil. And each time afterward that you do this, it gets even better!
During long tasks, every half-hour or hour, noise-removal breathe for 2 to 3 minutes; the time spent is repaid many, many times by heightened efficiency. (If you need reminding, get a little oven-tlmer and set it to remind you when the time for noise-removal breathing has arrived.)
Many thousands of children are too short of breath to read to or listen through to the end of any of the sentences they must deal with, and consequently they are unable to get the full meaning. (Some of these children are diagnosed variously as “hyperactive” or with “attention deficit disorder.”) There are more than enough children who have reading difficulties for other reasons, to ensure job security for all of those who now are entrusted with getting our children to read.
The same problem also affects levels of perception and thinking. If someone is too short-breathed to have a span of awareness in which several different elements can be considered at the same time, there is no way for that person to begin experiencing and thinking in terms of relationships! Such a person is doomed to only the most concrete levels of thinking and experience.
It appears that at least half of all high school or college-age persons with serious reading problems are shortwinded, and their reading problems would disappear if their shortwindedness were corrected. Project Renaissance discovered this surprising relationship in 1983, and no contravention of the finding has ever emerged,
Brief Glossary of special processes used
Basic Calm-Breathing Pattern: continuous breathing-in and breathing-out, very deeply on exhale as well as on inhale, very slowly and letting go with each breath—savoring the long deep slow passage of each rewarding breath.
Relief Breathing: breathing each breath as if it were that very first, tremendously relieved breath you would breathe freshly freed of a heavy, burdensome suit of armor.
Noise-Removal Breathing: calm-breathing with the images of pulling air in through various parts of the body or sectors of experience, with that incoming air swirling up great clouds of debris (“noise”), sweeping all that stuff cleanly out of your system on your deeply exhaled (and warm, rich) breath—so that stuff becomes showers of bright sparks as it hits air, the open air, and releases into good clean life energy. One of the most important of Psychegenic breathing patterns, noise-removal breathing should be practiced very frequently for cumulative effects of self-cleansing and release.
Yawn Breathing: noise-removal breathing giving way to successions of profound yawns, if need be triggering these yawns by taking a good, deep stretch every 10 to 20 breaths. Yawn-breathing removes fear and some forms of anger.
Blowtorch Breathing: noise-removal breathing and showering the resultant sparks in your exhaled breath, slowly, gently, hotly in a blowtorch stream, upon various pictured situations and/or people, to burn away the bases of anger. Includes built-in bio-feedback testing for left-over anger by examining the feeling of unreserved giving of life-energy to the former anger-stimulus.
Satisfaction Breathing: calm-breathing with the emphasis on the reward of each breath. Use a real or imagined delicious aroma; breathe that satisfying aroma “in through” the part of your body that aroma first seems to come to. An exhilaration technique which prevents or abolishes depression, grief or other “down” feelings and deconditions the stimuli which gave rise to them. One of the more important of Psychegenic breathing patterns, strongly recommended for frequent practice.
Psychegenics: “psyche” means “mind-” and “-genics” means “derived from”—hence, Psychegenics is the study of those effects which are produced through and with or by the mind. The opposite of psychegenic is psychogenic, meaning some form of psychosomatic dysfunction. Historically, as a discipline Psychegenics has mostly been engaged in pursuit of higher actualizations of human potential.
“O.K.” and “Beyond O.K.” refer to the distinction between “average,” meaning ordinary, customary, or the condition of most people, and “ænormal,” in the health sense of being whole, intact, actualized. Our goal is to leave customary norms behind (after all, even “o.k.” is still pretty mediocre) and evolve up toward the more fully actualized.
Stairstepping: to mentally photograph an effect and especially the feeling of that effect, next time to use the remembering of its feeling to re-create the effect, and then to use whatever first built the effect to add on to this re-created effect, going further carrying the effect to even more profound levels.
Innate Learning Methods: methods of learning and teaching which engage resources already innately within the learner—a set of ways to pick up the learning already experienced and bring it into the context of the learner’s present learning efforts.
Second-Generation Creativity Methods: as compared to first-generation methods such as brainstorming and Synectics-type methods, which essentially are step-by-step analytic ways, or multiple-response-forcing ways, to compel the pre-conscious to form insights, inventions, and creative solutions to problems and then to force these creative events out into conscious expression. The contrast is that second-generation methods are based on the discovery that the insights and solutions are already there, in a subliminal mental holograph of impressions surrounding every problem, every question, every datum. Second-generation methods reach directly, efficiently and immediately into these mental holographs for such creative insights and solutions and so escape a lot of plodding formerly associated with creativity methods and creativity training.
Modulation: a term from information science, meaning when anything is affected by something else, it carries (potentially retrievable) information about what affected it. Modulation of the wiggly grooves in an LP stereo record disc, for example, carries the information which in play-back becomes a recreation of the music, speech or other sounds which were originally recorded onto those wiggles. After a pebble-toss into a pond, once the ripples have reached throughout the pond and are still active, every particle in the pond carries information about the size, texture, shape, weight, speed, direction, trajectory and position of that pebble, which information potentially can be retrieved. Actually, whatever is affected by something else is modulated by and carries information—potentially retrievable information—about that something else.
Holograph: from laser technology. Bounce a stream of coherent light off some object onto a photographic plate; that plate retains a three-dimensional image of that object and will project that image in 3 dimensions when that laser light shines through the plate. What makes this phenomenon holographic is that if you break the plate, every fragment of that plate will prove to have that entire 3-dimensional image! Every particle of that plate carries the complete record of information. The more profound aspect of this phenomenon is that:
- Everything is affected by virtually everything else, hence is modulated by virtually everything else, hence carries information about virtually everything else;
- This information is potentially retrievable;
- The result is that virtually everything is a holograph of virtually everything else;
- The finest instrument yet developed for retrieving this holographic information is the right side of the human cerebral cortex.