‘Prayer is talking to God; meditation is listening to God and pranayama is conversing with God.’
The breath is an often-overlooked aspect of our physiology. We breathe on average of over 24,000 times a day, yet rarely do we do so consciously. Conscious breathing or Pranayama restores and balances our body by harmonizing the nervous system and purifying the subtle energetic system or nadis that connect the physical body to the subtle and casual bodies. There is a direct link between the breath and the mind – as we arrest control of the breath the mind gradually quiets and we begin to enter deeper states of being where we might directly converse with God.
Conversing with God is not as mystical or religious as it sounds. Nor is it an experience confined only to those advanced cave-dwelling yogis, but is accessible to all sincere and yearning for communion.
The practice of Pranayama seeks to gradually bring our awareness to the breath. The breath acts as a vehicle for consciousness where it might pass from denser to more subtle elements or realities. Awareness is dominated by the experiences of the mind/body because it is more associated and reflects the solidity and density of the earth element.
However, as the mind/body begins to slowly refine itself through continual remembrance of the breath ones experience moves into more subtle experiences associated with the spaciousness of being.
The breath acts as a means to connect with the air element allowing consciousness to become more associated with space rather than solidified thoughts of the body/mind. As thoughts no longer dominate the field of ones experience, we gradually begin to see the space that exists between thoughts.
Instead of identifying with thoughts we see thoughts – as we see forms arising within the space in occupies.
Everything inhabits space, arises in space and falls back into space. As we inhale we breathe into that space and as we exhale we breathe back out into That space. That pace is Consciousness, pure choiceless Awareness.
That space becomes the constant factor in which every experience arises in – sustains itself – and falls back into. Though all forms come and go, space remains. Space is the realm in which creation itself resides upon – where all forms eventually return back into the formless.
Spaciousness is the common factor, which permeates all of creation. Quantum physics supports what the Yogic sciences have already known – that matter – down in the sub atomic particles – is actually composed of 99% space. This shows – as the Buddha exclaims in his heart sutra ‘form is emptiness – emptiness is forms.’ Every form is inherently empty of form – and in truth constitutes nothing but empty space.
Now what does that mean? And how does this have anything to do with conversing with God?
The experience of being that rests in the recognition of itself – as space – remains untouched by the passing world of forms. Space is nothing but pure Consciousness, the un-manifest recognized in creation. Because it is space (as ether) that permeates the world of forms – we move into a more intimate relationship with creation – as creation.
It is this intimate recognition of creation – that moves us into relationship with divinity. The breathe acts as a doorway where we my connect to the beyond. At the top of every inhale and exhale the breathe points back to That space from which we have come. That we may move into this relationship and see ourselves as apart of creation and have a conversation with God.