A New Experiment to Try

by Win Wenger, Ph.D.
Winsights No. 97 (July/August 2007)

Photograph courtesy of Elan Sun Star

The Calm-Breathing Patterns, as taught in Winsights No. 28 and No. 29, and/or in current workshops, are profoundly useful as:

  1. a blissful meditation and rest break;
  2. a relief and stress-release break;
  3. a perceptual and thought clarifier;
  4. a physical restorative, and facilitator/accelerator of physical healing;
  5. a main tool in a potential major therapy for emotional, mental and/or physical distress;
  6. a problem-solving technique; and
  7. New! “Breathing meditation” — introduced below.

Before we describe the new #7 use, just a brief word further about Use #6 ….

In #6 is the only instance in which one is encouraged to use the chosen breathing pattern—usually “Noise-Removal Breathing”—to drowse off, or at least to plunge so deeply into the effects of the pattern as to drift away from one’s surroundings and circumstance. Use #6 is a speeded-up, five- or ten-minute version of the ancient, tried-and-true method of orienting on a problem, going to sleep with the intention of waking up with the solution to it, and then on the very first instant of waking starting to write or record everything that comes to mind, finding therein the breakthrough idea which becomes that answer.

In Project Renaissance’s version of #6, have notepad and pen at the ready, or an audio recorder or flash driver ready to start recording at the easy push of a button, or keyboard and word-processor on and ready to receive. — Or have a live partner to Freenote/Windtunnel to without concern as to what might emerge. Usually, once you start the flow, within a minute or so the hot new breakthrough ideas will begin to fall into place.

Use the same procedure, of course, by your bedside for when you wake from normal sleep. I do much of my best work in the hour before waking, and the flow of writing or discourse immediately after waking brings that work into focus. This is a great tool for living a wonderfully creative and exhilarating life!

Now to Use #7:

This goes beyond problem-solving, inasmuch as, like Image Streaming without a prior question or problem, it allows more and deeper ranges of your brain and mind to participate and to link up with consciousness than would be the case with focused solving of specified problems. (But solve a specified problem anyway by such process, at least once a week, so that the practical benefits will give you the excuse to continue your self-development!)

This procedure begins with the first use above, of the chosen breathing pattern — usually Noise-Removal Breathing — as a blissful meditation.

  • Have live partner, or recording device, lined up and ready to go.
  • Give your full attention to working the effects of that breathing. Like a Buddhist meditation in which one notices when one’s thoughts or perceptions veer away from the focus of the meditation, silently acknowledges that within oneself, and then goes back to the focus of the meditation.
  • Each time your thoughts and perceptions veer away to anything other than the direct effects and processes of the chosen breathing pattern, not only “acknowledge” that but make a mental note as to what that was. Then go right back to the focus of this breathing “meditation” — as many times as it takes until you reach a sense of completion. (If you go longer than 25 minutes in a Calm-Breathing session, within an hour get in a few minutes of light physical exercise.)
  • The very instant you are coming out of that breathing meditation, start describing or writing aloud all the things you noticed and made mental note of during that breathing meditation. Flow from there and see what comes.

What if you nodded off and don’t remember anything that you made mental note of? Then do either of the following:

  1. Treat this as in Use #6 above, only no question or problem has been specified. Just let flow and see what comes. OR (especially if this is done with a live partner or in a group):
  2. Go back to the apparent last thing you DO remember and describe that, then try to work your way forward. Or work your way forward another way, by exploring the possible meanings of what that last item of recall has for you, as possible predictors of where your train of thought might have gone to as you went deeper and nodded off. What are all the possible meanings that last particular thought, perception, image or sensation could hold for you?

Special Note for Live Listener

What a wonderful chance this is for you to practice your skills as a Socratic listener! — and in a role much more active than under the one-way bombardment of our Windtunnel procedure. Keep in mind Project Renaissance’s suggestion of pursuing the minimum intervention that gets the job done, but this is your chance to actively draw out your partner on his or her deeper and subtler awarenesses and have your partner bring them to full consciousness. Do your best here, and afterwards in small buzzgroups we will process on two main issues —

  1. What were the questions you used to draw your partner out, and which seemed to be the most effective for that purpose?
  2. After all that — what are some other questions which might also effectively serve the purpose?

I think you will want to keep notes from what your buzzgroup answers, and what other such buzzgroups may answer.

Summary of main anticipated benefits from this 7th use of Calm-Breathing Patterns

  • Discovery of deeper and farther-ranging insights from inner awareness than would ordinarily be tapped even in problem-solving mode.
  • Connecting up wider and deeper regions of the brain with where one is conscious from than would ordinarily be tapped even in problem-solving mode.
  • The physically and mentally restorative effects which normally accompany use of the Calm-Breathing Patterns.
  • For live partners, a unique opportunity to practice and develop Socratic skills.

Further reading: (Links will open in new window.)