Easy Calm Breathing

I’ve been practicing internal circular breathing. I’m calling it this because it feels right but this practice has many names. It came up as a spontaneous practice in the middle of the night a while back. And what I’ve learned is that there really isn’t any right way to do simple breathing practices (more advanced ones are a different story) if you are putting your mind to it, so to speak.

Let me explain. What I am practicing is this: I take a soft, deep breath in as my mind ‘follows’ the breath up my body, just to the inside of my spine from my belly. The breath, mind and eyes follow the movement to the inside back of my skull, circle down the front of the inside of my skull, and as I start to exhale it moves down and out my nose to bathe the front of my body. The cycle starts over, softly and smoothly, as my mind comes back to my belly for the in breath.

This is so relaxing and yet mildly energizing too - no, more like refreshing, I would say. My eyes actually follow the breath and so does my mind. It’s that part – the mind part - that is important. I feel like I am training my mind to focus. It’s a form of meditation that is simple and easy to do. People who meditate have a thicker cortex, that part of your brain that is the higher consciousness and intelligent part. It’s also the part of the brain that ‘over-sees’ the emotional part (the lower, older brain) bringing a calmer, more controlled affect to the personality.

I can always use more of this kind of calm!

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Witnessing Spring

I’m reminded of Witness Consciousness today. Spring is busting out all over the place and this makes it relatively easy to be hyper conscious of the beauty and life that is all around us. Forget stress, the economy and my messy house – it’s bursting out there!
It takes many varying practices to become more conscious. Right now I’m paying attention to nature in all of its glory. Last night I was paying attention to breath, sensual sensations and my G-spot. Later today I will even pay good attention to finishing my taxes. It’s all the same. Really.
How does one promote Witness Consciousness? There are many, many ways but I like to use the breath as a starting point. Watching my breath and breathing into my belly – softly, fully – is the practice I like. Years ago I started this practice and would remember it maybe 20 times a day. I would pay attention to how I was breathing. This got me used to remembering multiple times a day to pay attention.
That started my practice of witnessing myself. Then I moved this practice more deliberately to sex. After years of practicing and learning all about my body, my lover’s body and all the myriad ways we could pleasure each other I could finally let go of the ‘thinking’ about those moves and begin to ‘witness’ my self during sexual encounters. This isn’t about judgment or critical thinking or even imagination or fantasy – it’s about the gentle practice of witnessing. To witness one simply watches with ease and wonder what is happening to them.
When we get good at this it becomes really useful. So we’re having some great sex and I notice “ Oh, that is an interesting sensation. I’m going to breathe into that touch and see what happens.” It’s just like that, simple and useful. The ‘witness’ helps us to add on to the experience. When you get really good at this you can really explore and up-the-ante on your experiences, what ever they are. It’s a playful practice that becomes an increasingly interesting sort of arousal stimulator. And I’m using it today because of the beauty all around me – nature is arousing me and I’m using this experience to make it even more exquisite so I can enjoy the taxes and enjoy the garden and enjoy the sex and enjoy the life!

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The Antidote To Hard Times - Love Lessons

Mark Morford in his column at SFgate.com spoke wise words that got a bit of flack from many commentators on Wednesday (3.11.09). Roughly 25 to 30 percent of comments and votes thought he was spouting ‘drivel’ when he suggested making love a lot more in a down economy. Why, because it’s, well, you check: Have Sex for Free!

Curious numbers those 25-30 percent against this idea. These are certainly not the ‘Cultural Creatives’ (Thank you Paul Ray) who aspire, I’m sure, to more ‘Make Love, Not War’ kinds of slogans. Cultural Creatives are supposedly about 25-30% of the population. They like things like organic, ecology, right-livelihood, yoga – you get the picture and I’m sure they would be true believers in having a lot more free sex in down times, or in any times for that matter.

Near the end of his offering Morford states: “Is this all there is to it?” and then: “…God - can something truly innovative and revolutionary be born. You think? I can't be quite sure. Someone get me some porn and drugs.” Ah, rather than porn, what if the revolution brought us to love, compassion, helpfulness, more love, sex, more sex, expanded consciousness, innovative living and cheaper dates?

Cultural Creatives certainly must be proponents of Western Tantric Sex. That kind of sex might just get you out of your negative thinking and into the present. It might actually make you healthier, wiser and more resilient. What if we might have to play our own music while engaging in a love position from the Tantric or Kama Sutra manuals while eating organic delicacies from our own garden and smoking homegrown from our hookah?

And, for that matter, what if we actually had time to pay attention to our children and take joy in helping them learn and (shriek) play with them outside in the dirt of the garden. What a concept that would be – to actually spend time with and get to know your family.

Back to Tantric Sex - It’s got all the right components for these times. It produces oxytocin (bonding), pheromone transmission (luv drugs!), dopamine (cheap highs), balance (lots of different good chemicals), inner knowing, harmonious relating (stress-busting neurochemicals), newness in love relationships (avoids stress of divorce, cheating and adds a lot more playful fun) and basically, it’s FREE. Consciousness PLUS love is what’s called for and needed in our coming future.

PS: If you want to learn much more about it, it will actually cost you a little something over at Tantra.com’s Premium Member’s Area but there’s a whole bunch of stuff FREE over here/there too.

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Do You Want to Be Connected or Connected?

Are we really willing to go without touch, kissing, pheromones, orgasms, tender whispers and all of the exquisite accompaniments to Love this easily?

A study released this week from Germany on 19-29 year olds being willing to let go of their partner instead of their Internet connection and their cell phones is astonishing, to say the least. Maybe it is a generational thing. After all I’m in my mid fifties and have really only had a cell phone for maybe a tenth of my life (I was a late hold-out for no cell phone!). Two of my daughters have had cell phones for at least half of their lives, however, and they are in their 20’s. And they have had access to computers for almost all of their lives. So to them the use of these technology tools is ubiquitous. Yet I don’t think they would agree with this survey.

I’m not going to analyze it. I can’t because it is not ‘me’. What I’m addicted to is the deep connection that comes from love and sex and the ‘drugs’ that it produces in me. As humans we become kind of ‘addicted’ to oxytocin, the bonding chemical, dopamine, the desire chemical, pheromones, the attraction chemicals and on and on. These potent chemical messengers are what draw us to connect with another person. They become active when we get physically close to another person, not through cell phone connections.

I have always imagined and longed for a time when many people adopt Tantric practices. I believe the sexual part of Tantra is necessary for the consciousness part to evolve into an equilibrium of conscious love, compassion and a personal understanding of the depth within each of us. But this requires being physically close to others, whether they are lovers or not. It is pretty scary to think that the next generations, in some places, don't have this framework by which to live their lives. Tantric practices are now needed more than ever.

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