Awareness has its ultimate roots in a higher dimension, not the brain! The brain is only a single conduit of an individual’s cosmic awareness to a limited place locked into the coordinates of time and space by the thermodynamic (metabolic) arrow of time.
Obviously, it is extremely uncomfortable and dangerous to suddenly force one’s self to stop breathing. It has to be a gradual process of adaptation to lower and slower respiratory rates through long periods of constant meditation on the breath. An Overview of Hong-Sau and its Advanced Phases outlines such a technique for this purpose which can be found at Swami Kryananda’s “Ananda” website. This process of slowing breath and eventually transcending the need for respiration requires hours of daily deep concentration on the breath, deep relaxation, while either fasting or not eating anything too heavy. One needs to be quite familiar with all the principles of wholeness, yoga, meditation, conservation of sexual energy and transmutation.
One may wonder how it seems the less one breathes, the more spiritual energy one seems to have (under the right conditions). The spiritual energy received in meditation and other yogic practices comes from prana which increases to the degree the central subtle energy passage in the spinal axis (the sushumna) is opened. What is prana? When the subtle meridians are flooded with pranic energy, the breath naturally slows down: oxidizing metabolic energy is replaced by “antioxidant” ecstatic pranic energy. Because vital sexual energy is an essential reservoir of ecstatic pranic energy, conservation and pranic transmutation of sexual fluid is required for the mastery of breath.
When one has mastered transmutation, one’s whole being naturally becomes infused with prana, and tends to get a great deal more pranic nourishment than one would otherwise experience! Along with the suspension of metabolism, I would find it extremely easy to live on much, much less food (calories) than what would normally be expected! So here is a real key to a lifestyle of breatharianism, at least as close as one can get to it.
One can eat when one likes instead of when one has to, and one can breathe when one likes to instead of when one has to. One can live and “die daily” without actually dying, because a master of breath is also a master of death. This awesome degree of ecstatic freedom is just the tip of the iceberg as to what a true master gets to enjoy. I don’t know how close St. Paul got to this state of being, however St. Paul in 1 Cor. 15:31 said this: “I Die Daily” which is infinitely better than just “waiting for God” or often fearfully waiting for death at the termination of one’s life. Go here for more information about meditation and concentration in the eye center which is also an essential part of the process to be fully integrated or combined with the Hong-Sau breathing into what is a truly profound and powerful technique.
There is a profound connection between emotion and breath. The key to success with breath control is through control of emotions using perfect concentration on a symbol, image or mantra in the eye center to do so. Physical tension, emotions, unconsciousness, and scattered thoughts and the need to breathe are all strictly interrelated.
The key to breath control and therefore complete spiritual freedom and fulfillment, is mainly through perfect control of emotions using concentration of thought on one image, mantra, or symbol, maintenance of an uninterrupted stream of consciousness, and perfect relaxation throughout the body. Emotions are the most significant factor to keep under control. I am always amazed by how still my breath becomes once I have all my emotions under control.
Just the excitement alone of suddenly realizing that I am succeeding at stilling my own breath is enough to cause me to start breathing again! It is tricky business, but this is why it takes so many weeks, months even years to fully master, depending where one is in their yoga development. I still have quite a ways to go.
Regarding the essential factor of emotion control: I can’t help but think of that fictitious character Tuvok (played by Tim Russ) who was a Vulcan on “Star Trek, Voyager,” (1995-2001) meditating at least an hour a day in his hectic schedule just to fully master his emotions. Even that slight sentimental tinge of sadness I get from recalling any favorite “deceased” science fiction show (such as an old Star Trek production or an episode from Babylon 5) was enough to jolt my breathing halfway back to normal. That is why it is essential to also keep thoughts from wondering as well.
Emotion is the single greatest force or power of the psyche to contend with. However, once emotions are fully mastered, so will life itself. Emotion is the underlying foundation for all desires, addictions, cravings, habits, suffering, and personal shortcomings. Real, lasting peace, perfect character, and perfect contentment can only happen when all emotions are fully sublimated. The human soul is trapped by the main centrifugal pulls of desire or emotion, and liberated by the centripetal (back toward center of origin) force of yoga.
Breath control though perfect mental concentration/emotional control while using the Hong Sau technique, may very well be the single most important and essential all-empowering combination of disciplines ever which can obviously be of great benefit to one’s daily life as well. This process of overcoming the need for oxygen is the key to everything spiritual such as real, permanent love, joy, freedom, and ecstasy; out-of-body travel, astral projection, communication with spirits, cosmic consciousness, and most beautiful, fulfilling and rewarding of all: direct, personal contact with God! All of it really is totally glorious and beautiful beyond words which I am as anxious to find as I would be to be with my wife on my wedding night. Once one has fully mastered breath control, the implications for personal freedom and spiritual growth are staggering. Obviously, not many yogis get this advanced and there is very little research done on the actual experiences and level of freedom enjoyed by such rare individuals. However, they tend to be Christlike and always full of immense light, love, joy, laughter and healing wisdom. To meet such a Master as this is a rare privilege and honor indeed. Sri Yukteswar was one great example of such a master. He was considered a “God” by Yogananda, author of that awesome book, Autobiography of a Yogi.
Many of the most genuine, greatest, and successful yogis of India tend to be the ones who have mastered breath control. A good question to test the validity or ability of one’s guru or teacher is to ask him or her if he or she has mastered breath control! Even though there are other essential aspects of yoga such as devotion, tantra, and bhakti (yoga of love), none are of as much pivotal significance as breath control. Those who haven’t will most likely say it is not important! Caveat emptor!
I personally find it very desirable to slow my breath during meditation. It seems the more I can do this, the calmer I feel and more relaxed, blissful and centered in spiritual awareness I become. The body gets more and more still and even stiff as metabolism suspends itself more and more. Why is this so important? Breath related physical and mental tension and restlessness are the main obstacles to spiritual freedom and well-being. Once one has mastered the freedom to leave the body at will, ultimate spiritual freedom, fulfillment and knowledge is obtained. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” — St. Matthew 6:33. That “kingdom of God” (or heaven) is within all sentient beings just as every single clear evening dewdrop on a branch or tree contains a perfect reflection of all the stars of the universe at night. Therefore, within every one of us can be found an awesome, amazing universe of pure love, joy, infinite wisdom and wonder to unfold. Regular access to this ultimate inner treasure of God, unfortunately does require the complete withdrawal of consciousness from all five senses mainly through hours and hours of perfect concentration at the “eye” center (third eye) and through the suspension of breath, heartbeat and metabolism.
For more information on this vital subject please read: Concentration on the Breath Leads to Inner Stillness by Swami Kriyananda (a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda).
One can rejuvenate cells using electricity, supplements, and sexual energy. It is possible to rejuvenate an older body back to a much more youthful level of functioning. This “miracle” of cell rejuvenation is possible at any age through using various adaptogenic herbs, antioxidants, ionized water, conservation of sexual energy and regular bathing in a tub that is infused with 6 to 12 volts direct current electrical energy from a battery. Obviously one must be very, very careful when experimenting with water and small amounts of electricity! If there were no potential hazards or dangers naturally inherent in combining electricity and water I would be recommending this technique all over the internet, because the benefits are tremendous and quite revivifying. Direct current electricity can be used to create the most perfect sexual transmutation and kundalini action I have ever known, resulting in immense bliss and inner joy. The circulation to all major organs is improved quite dramatically.
One must be very careful when exposing the body to electricity, even small amounts can cause skin burns, skin dryness and muscle contractions. Because the heart is one huge muscle, a direct encounter with even a small amount of electricity and the heart can be fatal. One must therefore take all precautions and use good common sense. The scientifically documented rejuvenating effects of direct current electricity on the body cells can be read about in The Body Electric by Robert O. Becker and Gary Selden. However, electricity on its own may have little or no blissful effect unless one also fasts regularly on ionized water, conserves sexual energy, meditates successfully with intense concentration, and consumes for breakfast (on an empty stomach) to the exclusion of all other food: fruit juice, kombucha, adaptogenic herbs (ginger, ashwaganda, rhodiola rosa, maca, saw palmetto, pygeum, nettle, etc.), a whole spectrum of brain and nerve building supplements, vitamins, green powders, protein powder, and vegetable juice.
Anyone can live a truly spiritual life if one is willing to try some of the above unusual methods of transmutation while conserving one’s sexual energy. In this article, I have spelled out many advanced concepts and new approaches in the age old quest for lasting bliss, inner joy, and cellular rejuvenation.
Related information and movies can be found here: Transcend Respiration.