Taoist breathing CD 1 lesson 2

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    I find that I sometimes want to stop a few nanoseconds when my breath is transitioning between inhalation and exhalation. In another word, during this very short transition phase, I am not breathing in nor out, or at least I don’t think I am. Is this gap considered holding my breath? If yes, I take it that I am supposed to reduce the length of this gap? But I find that whenever I attempt to do that, I start to sweat and I feel anxious. My attempt to lengthen the gap between breathing in and out is a form of controlling my breath that seems to make body feel uncomfortable. Is this normal and just a temporary phase that will go away?

    I also find that sometimes, I want to divide my breath in and breath out in two segments or even three. For example, I will breath in, stop a little bit, breath in a little more, stop a little bit again, then breath in a little bit more before exhaling. Other times, I find that I want to breath in, then breath out an amount smaller than the air intake I just had, before resuming the breath in again.

    Is this normal?


    Hello there- best wishes in your seeking and practice (and life).. normal is tricky, but normally could be described as such (as the key if in your experience, and for you- whether other’s “usually” or not.. but I’d guess what you meant by that is, is this significant?
    -I think so, as follows, but not quite in the way it seems the phrasing of your question implies.)

    Rather than seeking to control or manipulate.. rather seek to release the underlying flow and connection underneath (which is likely not like what it seems.. as in the “relax/sung” tension- we think, ah that will be like ___ and then when do.. oh.. or feel chi, that will likely feel __ then oh its ‘that’? –specifically.. what is it that is causing these .. these stuck points… (not seek to explain or figure out, but look- can find? or inquire, and insight arises? as you let-go/dissolve what is ‘in the way” of perceiving.. and be ready for that arrival)

    — I’d guess (not more than from words, but sound consistent with my exper.) that the pause-break (~ relates to fog/gaps, distraction) and wanting/needing to ‘segment’
    …. is actually a physiological adjustment..
    the breathing (not only the lungs, but diaphram and “all” the connections to/from it.. as well as the shrink-grow push-pulling into the torso and all fluid-bags) is not connected up, so that it is like adjusting a sheet on a bed, or a tablecloth..
    and you need pull it one-way… and there are folds in the cloth, or parts of the cloth are stuck and you have to adjust there, then go adjust another place.. then straighten it out.. once the “slack is taken-out” then you can pull one edge and all the whole cloth will pull (but if in that movement, it releases more “slack” or gets stuck.. then need adjust it again, etc.. cloth is more consistent, although it also can stretch and bunch up.. but flesh can shorten and go numb and get stuck or sudden release, move and link up.. etc.)

    Anyway- I hope that helps.. but if you feel for the “mind” that is directing the breath (and/or that is “paying attention”) .. and notice what that is inside (or what could function through it, but it is “in the way of”)… and inquire could there be a larger-deeper-smoother mind? (and thus larger-deeper-smooth movements.. actions affecting the tissues, as well as the tissues themselves being smoother-more alive-more connected). etc.

    but as you say, trying to push for the breath, I find (there are various approaches, and formats of this work) but my preference is to not try and impose ( as mentioned above, if one have, likely, a blockage upon one’s functioning.. ie if how it feels natural is itself an unconnected, less natural distortion of… then layering another distortion upon that is two layers.. and will never get you down to base. [In other words, if you have a wall with a primer coat of paint, then then paint on it.. if you then want to change that painted color.. you can scrape off the paint and start from the base finish, -or- primer coat on top, and then another layer of paint the ‘new’ color.. (the second way now has 4 layers.. or maybe many-many layers, if this re-do/adding a layer on top has been done before).



    I don’t know if any of this applies to your experience, or Bagua or Taoist breathing, or Bruce’s explanations, or Taokua’s comments, but I’ve explored Zen breathing for decades.
    And I can’t say that I’ve successfully applied it except in seated meditation.

    The best explanation that I know of is by Shunryu Suzuki,
    “not always so; practicing the true spirit of Zen.”

    “Inhaling without effort you naturally come back to yourself with some color or form.

    Exhaling, you gradually fade into emptiness–empty, white paper.

    The important point is your exhalation.
    Instead of trying to feel yourself as you inhale,
    fade into emptiness as you exhale.

    You are actually aiming at emptiness.

    Bruce explains the role of emptiness, stillness, in Bagua.

    The point where yin transitions to yang is where power is released, generated.

    In “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind,” Suzuki wrote,
    “What we call ‘I’ is just a swinging door which moves when we inhale and when we exhale.”

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