Kaleb Smith (turboswami) wrote in abstractthought,
Kaleb Smith
turboswami
abstractthought

Breath and Attention

The literal power of the breath is in the combustion of expiration, itself – a process which creates energy and can be focused. The attentional “dive” of a focused exhale can be overwhelmingly powerful; the slower and of greater capacity the breath, the more fueled the combustion, flaring bright and intensely through attention.  In this way, I experience the magnitude of attention as  directly-proportional to the depth and frequency of the breath that stokes it – as if breath fuled the attention, its radiance and it’s potential proximity.

An aid in the focusing of attention is, of course, the directing of one’s gaze. The majority of our attention is directed through the lenses of the eyes, a flood of awareness coursing in primarily through the optic nerve.  It makes sense, then, that Vedant Hindu meditators would direct their inward close-eyed gaze in an upwards direction. Looking up allows the meditator to project their attention in that direction, a long exhale often seeming to actually carry me upwards, an inward ascension maintained on the purity of a slow breathy tone.  That pure tone being the universal human sound of relaxation: “Ahhh… m(en).”

This ascension can be felt by others in the room, according to Yogananda and other’s who have written about being in the presence of a saint or high guru. Meditation becomes somehow more profound as if the darkness of the inner vision is dispelled by their radiance, the pupil’s way illuminated by his enlightenment.   It is said that  the light of this heightened state of consciousness appears visibly,  an inward brilliance shining outwards around the eyes and face: a halo.

I have measured the influence of minor instances of this ascension on others. Recorded was a sudden burst in Alpha bandwidth energy, a sudden curvature graphed coinciding perfectly with the long, focused exhalation. Further research in the direction of this serendipitous finding would surely yield fruitful and robust data, perhaps allowing us to “map” the subtle energetic medium of our surroundings and nature of its subjection by consciousness.  Like any other energy, the subtle frequency of consciousness oscillates, literally seen in the physiology of our neural networks whose activation cycles in a range of frequencies related directly to the depth of our state of consciousness:

-Delta=>deepest state, sleep, unconscious vision.

-Theta=>deep relaxation, hypnagogia, subconscious. 

-Alpha=>relaxation;

-Beta=>high strung tension/anxiety;

-Gamma=>Inspiration and Transcendent meditation.

The influence of psychedelics on the brain is felt subjectively, but in those early studies of LSD, for instance, that change in the state or nature of consciousness seemingly could not be measured by objectively means. Yet, the results of those studies should not prompt us to doubt the existence of that subjectively-felt sense, or dissuade us from continuing our attempt to measure that perceived influence on consciousness! Instead, it can be viewed as a sign that we are measuring the wrong thing; the wrong attribute or cognitive ability.  If those early psychedelic researchers had studied the influence of LSD on meditation, for instance, they may have found a task which has a measurable EEG correlate.

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