Welcome to the November 2010 Breath and Breathing Report.
I am writing to you from San Diego, California. I am so grateful to Anne Guanciale for
inviting me here, and for inviting me to the “Muse Group” at the University of San
Diego. Anne is such a pure and natural teacher of mindfulness, a born breathworker! No
matter what your experience with breathwork, if you are in the California area, you’d be
crazy not arrange a session with her. If you’d like to take advantage of her bright healing
presence, write to: <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
My stop in New York City was great. The seminar was full and I was quite busy with
private sessions. Love and thanks to Peace Arnold for making it all possible, and to
everyone who participated. It is such a sacred honor for me to support you all as you
explore the path of Breathmastery. Peace has an ongoing breathwork group in NYC. Be
sure to contact her if you want to breathe! <email@example.com>
While in the Big Apple, thanks to Charlotte Freedman, I had the pleasure of meeting Fred
Lehrman, who happen to be passing thru. Fred was one of the original Rebirthers. After
only a few hours in his presence, I can say that I totally agree with Marilyn Ferguson,
(author of “The Aquarian Conspiracy”): “Fred has an uncanny knack for leading people
to simple but stunning insights.” If you’d like to take his course on prosperity and
success, visit: www.nomaduniversity.com.
I am still integrating my South African experience. I plan to go back there from late
March through early April. (If you’d like to join me on the next adventure, let me know.)
The land of South Africa is so breath taking! And the country is filled with so many
bright young people. Many of them are very disadvantaged, even living on the street, yet
they manage to attend high school or college everyday. These are the kind of self-
motivated people that deserve our support. And so I’d like to organize a “South Africa
Fund” to provide free life skills, healing arts, education, and business training to some of
these young people. If you would like to help me create this fund, please write to me at:
In Cape Town, I also met the most extraordinary teacher of presence and aliveness: love
and awareness: Shakti Malan. She’s a Dakini, a Tantrika. She has done extended solo
wilderness treks and vision quests, and she is an avid free diver. She is a lightning rod for
awakening. Visit www.shakti.co.za or www.totalitytherapy.com to get a taste of who she
is and what she does.
I am so very pleased to announce that Shakti and I will be co-leading three very special
events in 2011 called “Alive Alone Together:” in Cape Town, in Moscow, and in Italy.
Warning! These programs will be hazardous to your fears and misery, and devastating to
your ego! Don’t come unless you are willing to be ruthlessly truthful with yourself and
others. Don’t participate unless you are ready to drop all pretenses and illusions about
who you are, what is real, and why you are here. Do come if you desire to step into
you’re your highest self, to embody your divine potential, and to move forward with
freedom and power, peace and joy, on every level of your life! More news soon.
The 2011 schedule is shaping up. It looks like I will visit Paris and Brussels after South
Africa in April; then to Russia and the Former Republics for the summer; ending with
Italy in August and Argentina in early September. (I’ll stop in New York on the way out
and on the way back in to the USA.)
I’m getting ready to head back down to the Baja. I expect to be there on Thanksgiving
Day. Perfect! It looks like we will have quite a few visitors this season. And you are most
welcome to be among them! Baja Bio Sana is entering the next phase of development. I
am sending out an invitation for five more people to join our group of founders. We are
eight founders to date and will complete the circle with thirteen. Each of us contributes
$15,000 USD to our non-profit corporation. As founders, we have a voice in what is
created, and we have the option to build a permanent home on the property.
With each passing season, the land is becoming an oasis. We have a solid foundation for
self-sustainable community and living. We are far enough from the coast and well above
the flood plain, and so we are safe from hurricanes. We are nestled in the foothills of the
Sierra Laguna Mountains, with access to abundant pure water; we border on tens of
thousands of acres of federally protected bioreserve. The gardens and nurseries are
flourishing. If you would like to become a founder, please contact me.
On Breath and Breathing…
I am really excited about how many Rebirthers/Breathworkers there are in the world
today! I can remember when you could count them on ten fingers. And I also remember a
comment by Phil Laut, one of the original Rebirthers. He said: “Considering what some
people do under the label of rebirthing, I wouldn’t want to be mentioned in the same
paragraph as them!” I can relate to that today, and I have to smile as I read and hear about
what some people are saying and doing as breathworkers!
I am very passionate about applying breathwork in the service of peak performance,
optimum health, and ultimate potential. But as I point out, up front and center, on my
website: breathwork cannot be taught, but it can be learned. And so I’d like to offer some
ideas to support you in managing your own learning. I’d like share some of what I feel
makes for excellent breathwork and excellent breathworkers.
First of all, I’d beware of too much seriousness. I believe it’s best to approach breath and
breathing with playful curiosity. Curiosity is very healthy and play is nature’s way of
learning. It has been said that we learn in three ways.
1. By imitating those around us—by modeling others.
2. Through controlled learning—that is directed by others.
3. Self-managed, self-motivated learning—which comes through direct experience.
The second form of learning, although the most popular form of education in our society
is not the best way to learn breathwork. It doesn’t support us in developing creativity or
intuition, and it doesn’t prepare us to deal with new, sudden, or unexpected changes. In
school we learn the lessons and then we take a test. But in life we are given a test, and
then we learn the lessons!
Directed learning is all about what is right and wrong, good and bad. It has rigid “how
to’s and what not’s.” And so it is appealing to so-called authorities and to people who
depend them. It is fine for those who seek comfort and security in rigid social structures
and religious dogmas. But this style of learning pulls people away from their inborn self-
managing abilities. Through this kind of directed learning, people end up locked into
prescribed ways of thinking, feeling and acting. This makes grading, measuring and
judging them very easy, but it stifles autonomy and creativity.
People who surpass their teachers are the people who achieve real greatness in life.
Great people imitate what others do well, learn what they are taught, but then they go
forward on their own, to learn what no one else could ever teach them. On the other hand,
people who have been trained primarily through directed learning are very good at
following instructions as well as complaining and criticizing. They usually obtain
acceptable results, but they rarely achieve anything magnificent in life.
People who limit themselves to the first two kinds of learning end up warping themselves
into someone else’s idea of “good.” They forfeit trust in their own natural goodness.
People raised to be “good” and to not be “bad” are afraid to ask embarrassing questions,
and they often end up emotionally handicapped, unable to cope outside of their structured
environment. When life challenges them, when they are faced with change, they find
themselves trapped by their conditioned habits of thinking, feeling, and behaving. In
some cases, they are unable to act in a way they perceive to be “bad” even when it could
save their life or the lives of others! People trained to be “good” and not be “bad,” can
live with tremendous self-deception. They can act in ways that are harmful to others yet
believe that what they do is for the other person’s own good.
One of the hallmarks of people who achieve excellence in any field is that they are
comfortable with all kinds of opposite feelings. Truly great people seem to have
paradoxical personality traits. They are both strong and gentle, both mature and playful,
serious and funny, trusting and cautious, proud and humble, lazy and hardworking,
logical and creative. They can be angry and loving, shy and bold, calm and emotional,
impulsive and well organized, distant and friendly, selfish as well as unselfish.
As Mosha Feldenkraise pointed out: “reversibility is the mark of voluntary movement.”
An act that cannot be reversed is involuntary. It is robot-like. It is not open to, and cannot
be guided by higher consciousness. Every time you have a feeling of any kind, there is a
corresponding neuro-chemical event in the body. Developing the ability to think, feel and
act in equal and opposite ways establishes a tendency toward emotional balance. Rigid
moral or ethical concepts produce the opposite of freedom. One-sided habits in thought
and feeling are in effect emotional handicaps, and they create matching imbalances in our
organs and systems, resulting in illness and disease.
Being conscious, free, and open to the full range of emotions, we are able to creatively
choose in situations where others can only blindly react. And embodying the full range of
human emotions increases our ability to truly empathize with people, and to resolve
conflicts with those who think, feel or act differently than us. Empathy is important in
breathwork. Empathy is not sympathy. Sympathy means when someone is sad, you cry
with them. Empathy means you can recognize and understand another person’s feelings,
but you don’t necessarily feel the way they do. Empathy allows you to connect deeply
with others, and yet remain clear and centered in your own power.
Another thing that makes for extremely healthy and creative people, and also great
breathworkers, is that they naturally react to almost every change with the attitude:
“Good! Great! I’m glad this has happened. Let’s play with it!” When faced with a
distressing life challenge, they do not feel like victims. They react to disruptive changes
that are forced on them as if they chose them. And so they can go from being emotionally
upset, to successfully coping, to creatively thriving, with amazing speed!
If you haven’t noticed, we live in a world of nonstop change. Once upon a time in the
past, the future seemed certain. Now it is not. In the past, change was something that we
struggled to get through—a one-time event; and when it was over, things pretty much
settled back to the way they were. But now change is constant. And we need to learn new
skills and abilities to deal with this constant change. We need to embrace change.
Breathworkers are in fact transformational change agents.
In the past, we relied on our leaders to solve the world’s problems, now we must rely on
ourselves. Instead of learning to avoid mistakes, we need to learn how to learn from our
mistakes. We need to find a way to tap into our deepest strengths and abilities. But people
seldom do this until or unless they are forced to by a major life challenge or a crisis.
Breathwork helps us to access our deepest strengths and greatest abilities ahead of time.
In breathwork, we allow the territory to create its own map for us. And this supports us in
being creative and resourceful when we find ourselves facing new, unexpected, or
Good breathworkers have high self-esteem: a healthy emotional opinion of themselves.
They have high self-worth: a positive and realistic sense of who they are and what they
are capable of. They have strong self-confidence: they expect to do well in new situations
and in different activities. Healthy self-esteem, high self-worth and strong self-confidence
provide a solid foundation for sailing through life. We are able to set challenging goals,
overcome difficult obstacles, and deal effectively with stress as well as success.
Breathwork supports this foundation, and it helps us to recover from major setbacks. It
allows us to accept praise, recognition, and friendship as legitimate and deserved; and it
helps us to not be swayed by undeserved criticism or insincere flattery. Outstanding
breathworkers cannot be pressured into undesirable actions or situations out of fear of not
being liked. Breathwork supports us in learning and growing from our mistakes, and it
helps us to build identities as unique and valuable human beings, who are making a real
difference in the world, and in the lives of those we serve.
Breathwork increases our ability to sense subtle changes in our energy, and subliminal
reactions in the body. These subtle energy changes and reactions carry very important
information. How you perceive the clues and cues given off by others is strengthened and
enhanced by being sensitive to your own subtle inner feelings. Maybe what we are
talking about here—what is needed—is intuition. And intuition is certainly one of a
breathworker’s greatest talents or allies. And, in a perfect catch 22, breathwork just
happens to helps us access, strengthen, and develop our natural intuition!
Great breathworkers are able to find value in every experience. They are able to regain
their stability when they are knocked off track. They find that the breath, like a good
friend, is right there in every moment to support them in handling wonderful as well as
terrible changes. Many of us have found that breathwork helps us to develop a talent for
serendipity! It puts us in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing with the
right person, all without any thought or effort. Those of you who have followed my
personal life in the last six months, have seen how even the most painful changes can turn
out to be amazingly beautiful and perfect, even miraculous, in the end!
So, that’s it for this month. Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I hope you will take
the time to give thanks for the breath of life, for family and friends, for the ability to think
and move and feel. I am so grateful for this gift of life, for the earth, the sun, and the air;
for everyone and everything around me! An attitude of gratitude is one of the most
powerful and healing mental/emotional states. I suggest that you use the coming holiday
to bask in thankfulness!
Love and blessings to us all,