Alchemy of Breath

The heart of this spiritual experience is an hour’s meditation, concentrating on the breath. We breathe in and out through the mouth, from filling the lungs to emptying them as far as avoids discomfort, with no pause at the top of the breath or at the bottom. We lie down on our backs, perhaps with a cushion under the knees to keep the tailbone comfy. Here is a video on the technique.

However on this Zoom taster we start with a lecture on the Drama Triangle. It has three characters, Hero, Villain, and Victim. We can bounce round these three characters in our relationships, or escape the triangle into Presence. Adopt the posture you would have as Hero. Here we are expressing ourselves physically, rather than intellectually. It is a useful exercise. I learn something from it. Consciously embody each. Use your body not your intellect. Stop relying on an intellectual analysis. Be gentle with yourself and others.

The drama triangle is a trap. To move on from it, you have to enter Presence. As Abraham Hicks says, don’t slide into the ditch to rescue someone from it. In presence, you take your space. It is a state of perceiving your own feelings, and the world around you, of wonder, curiosity, and non-commitment. If you enact this with your body, with the sound Hmmm indicating curiosity, that can create a boundary to protect you from fast-thinking reaction, sucking you back into the triangle. Or you might enter presence by deliberately moving your body in a new spontanous way.

Be aware of your empathy: don’t be indulgent, or interfere with the other’s creativity. The victim does not know where their power of choice is. Ask a question, to get them to think, or see things differently. Don’t be a hero, be the Encourager. Remember they, and all of us, are


You could suggest what their options are, or ask them to state options. Providing solutions is not true friendship.

When you find yourself in the Victim role, ask “What are my options?” Do something, anything, to end the sense of powerlessness, and accept responsibility for where you are.

Then we move into the breathwork. Notice your physical sensations, and let your mind be what it is. Inhaling, allow the Universe, or supporting Love, to enter. Exhaling, let go. Notice the feelings in your body. Under anger is fear, under fear is sadness, and under sadness is unconditional Love. We are conscious, adult people becoming our own inner leader.

During the exercise, alas, listening to the music of Raphael Shastro, I fell asleep. I was also uncomfortable with the breathing technique. Reminding myself that I had chosen to start, and had a choice whether to practice the whole hour, I turned off my zoom camera and went to cook my dinner, while still listening. My mind and intellect were at work. However, doing the practice I was more conscious of being an animal, with a physical body, than I might be in Quaker worship.

The people attending comment on how they found it, and they found it mindblowing and life-changing. This teacher, Anthony Abbagnano, can bring people to a spiritual experience, which may do lasting good. Charismatic himself, he tells us that the charismatic teacher needs fact-checked, and falsehoods pollute the teaching.

Welcome the resistance you feel to the practice. Feel that resistance: it carries messages. Also welcome the Call you feel.

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