Invocation to the Power of Grace, the Power of the Breath
Parama Hamsaya Vidmahe
Maha Hamsaya Dhimahi
Tanner Hamsah Prachodayat
We devote our thoughts to the Breath (symbolized by Hamsah, the swan)
We meditate upon the greatness of the Breath
May the breath guide us on the path of wisdom and meditation
By listening we learn about the subtle and ever changing needs of the body, and about the impact of our emotions, actions and reactions upon our breath and thus upon our health and state of well- being. Through the practice of listening, we become mindfulnot just in quiet circumstances, but even in frantic and difficult times, and have tools for responding in a way that is best both for the outer circumstances and for our inner state.
Yoga begins with listening; the essence of yogic practice is self- inquiry, (ama vichara).
The yogi not only witnesses, but inquiries into what he or she observes for the sake of greater self- knowledge and understanding. What we observe concerning the quality of our in breath and out breath provides a revealing mirror of our habitual (and often unrecognized) stance toward life. The depth, ease and comfort of our inhalation reflects our openness and ability to embrace life in the moment; the quality of our inhalation reflects our consent to participate in life as it unfolds before and within us. The freedom of our exhalation reflects our ability to let go with ease and understanding and to move on; it shows our trust in life that loosens to overcomes rigid concepts of how things ought to be.
Vital Life force energy
The yogis call it Prana, the Taoists chi and the Hawaiians Mana. Different names for the same, unseen, mysterious, animated force, powerful force.
Prana is indistinguishably united with the mind. In fact, the consciousness that tends toward thinking, on account of the movement of prana, is known as the mind. Movement of thought in the mind arises from movement of prana; and movement of prana arises because of the movement of thought in consciousness. They thus form a cycle of mutual dependence, like waves and movement of currents of water.
Taoism, Buddhism and Vedanta Perspective
Taoism shares the same fundamental insight as Buddhism and Vedanta when it comes to analyzing
the "things" of the Universe. This insight is that nothing exists in and of itself. A tree, for example, can't exist by itself. It needs air from the sky and water from the earth and light and heat from the sun. A tree could not exist without an earth to root in. The earth could not exist without a sun to draw life from. The sun could not exist without a space to be in. Nothing that exists is completely independent of everything else—not a tree, not a stone, and definitely not a human being.
Although Buddhists and Vedantists share the same insight about the interrelatedness of all things, they come to opposite conclusions in their conceptions of ultimate nature of all them.
Buddhists say, "No things exist."
Vedantists say, "All things are really just the One Thing."
The Buddhist says, "No 'things' exist because if we try to remove their coverings of earth, air, water, and light there is nothing left."
The Vedantist says, "All 'things' are really just the 'One Thing' because all things arise from and dissolve into every other thing."
The conclusion of the Buddhist is "All things are Empty or Sunya."
The conclusion of the Vedantist is "All things are Full or Purna."
But the Taoists say, "All things are 'Empty' and 'Full'."
The breath becomes this practice empty, full and both at the same time.
Breath becomes the vehicle to interconnection
How do we even begin to tap into the unseen?
Exploration of pranayama techniques:
· Surya Bheda
· Chandra Bheda
· Ujjayi Anuloma
· Ujjayi Pratyaloma
Build a relationship with the unseen
When you choose to use the conscious breath as a practice it gives you insight into the world beyond your two physical eyes. It opens you to the ability to be receptive to the unknown, the unseen, the mystery.
May the mystery be an inviting world full of possibilities.