#7
February 3, 2005

Reverse It

Are you breathing? Drinking water? Have you lost your initial zeal? Just keep coming back.

Reverse It

Here's a breath to try. Typically, we think of our breathing as beginning with inhalation, followed by exhalation. Try reversing the order. During your 15 minutes of breathing, but not necessarily during the entire time, begin the cycle of breath with exhaling. Exhale inhale, exhale inhale, exhale inhale.

As important as it is to fill your lungs completely, it is equally important to empty them. Exhale, and trust that inhale will follow. There's another benefit of this reversal. Your first attention will be occupied with keeping the reversed cycle flowing. That, accompanied with the expansion breathing brings, will allow your second attention to come forward. Your second attention can be shy, so don't go looking for it. If you do, you'll lose the reversed rhythm of breathing, and you'll chase your second attention away. It's like getting a wild bird to eat from your hand. Stand still with your hand out, breathe, and don't pay attention to the bird. Eventually, she'll come to your hand.

Your second attention is both the bed of your creativity and the repository of your unresolved energy. Use this reversed breath regularly for a while and you may find yourself having new insights. Give it a try and let me know how you like it.

Breathing in this new way can be tiring. Don't force it. Do it only for as long as it is comfortable.