– Review
Article Bi Monthly 2009
Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, New Delhi.
by Mahamandalersar Swami Ved Bharati
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Alphabet of meditation is breathing in one of the Sufi traditions. Naqshbakdiandi order places the most prominence on breath awareness. One of the beautiful names of God is used as one may do mental recitation of ILLILLAH (but one God). With inhalation in the Gospel according to St. John some time after the crucifixion Christ appeared and breathed and breathed into them and said, “Receive Ye the Holy spirit” (John 2022). In Mount Athos at the Autonomous Monastic of holy Mountains boy the Greek and the Russian versions teach the system of remembering God a prayer with breath awareness. The texts advice that breathing practices with prayer be undertaken under the guidance of a master. In China the practice of breath awareness is as ancient as it is in India.
Mahamandaleswar Swami Ved Bharati’s conversation with Taoist guides in China had confirmed that in China they continue to teach the breath awareness practices that parallel ones in Indogenic systems.
The practice of breath awareness is familiar to the Tamil Siddhas. The major saints of medieval India placed a great deal of emphasis of understanding breath and using it as a vehicle for higher realization. Guru Granth Sahib reportedly admonishes the devotees to pay attention to breath and let the name of God be remembered at each breath. The Buddhist follow this. Both the Chinese Ch’an and the Japanese Zen also teach concentration on breath from below the navel. There are debates among Jainas as to the efficacy of breathing exercises.

Yogi Yajnavalkya Smiti speaks of not forcible inhaling or exhaling (force would be if grains of flour kept in hand should not get stirred). Even non-jerky breathing is emphasized. Length of exhalation and inhalation should be even. No breaks. Exhalation is when meditation begins. Do not keep changing methods, one can later get into a state of consciousness and a physical and emotional correlation without using the technique by just a Sankalpa.

Published in the November 2010 edition of Yoga & Total Health Magazine
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