While you breathe it is also true that your breath breathes you. Similarly, respiration, or the act of breathing in and out, is done by organisms, on the one hand, and by prana, or life force, which breathes organisms. From the perspective of life force, the essence of every breath, it breathes you. It is all a matter of perspective. If you take the perspective of breath, of prana, of life force and interview it using the protocols of Integral Deep Listening, the result is a radically expanded worldview. Here is one example of a few questions put to Prana:
Prana, will you please describe yourself?
Prana: I am the universal life force within everything. I am a vital frequency, vibration, or energy that enlivens and awakens and feeds all things, dependent on their awareness and receptivity. Since I’m everywhere, I am within air.
Prana, what do you appreciate most about yourself?
Prana: I like that I am both separate from all things and yet I freely and completely interpenetrate all things. I like that people look through me and do not see me, yet I am everywhere and empower all things. I like that I am completely independent of whether people notice me or not or of what they think or feel about me.
Anything you dislike about yourself?
Prana: No. I’m perfect, just the way I am.
If you could change yourself in any way, would you Breath? If so, how?
Prana: No. I am life incarnate. I fully embody the six core qualities of confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace and witnessing.
What part of me do you most closely personify, Breath?
Prana: I personify two aspects of life: as clear emptiness and as vital life force.
Prana, from your point of view, what happens when a person breathes?
Because I’m within air, I’m within every breath that an organism inspires or expires. When a person takes me in she becomes more alive or “inspired.” When a person exhales me she becomes less alive or moves closer to death for a moment, which is the meaning of the word “expiration.”
So it sounds like from your perspective you are a sort of universal food or nourishment that living things use to live and grow.
Prana: Yes, that’s it! However, I also teach withdrawal, release and acceptance.
How do you score yourself 0-10 in the six core qualities?
Prana: I’ve never thought about it, mostly because I do not need to think or feel to fully exist. But now that you ask, and because I include your level of consciousness since your consciousness of me is created by you, here are my answers:
Confidence: 10 That’s because I can’t die. I am unborn and therefore I can’t die. Because I can’t die I am fearless. Because I am fearless I am ten in confidence.
Compassion: 10 I support you regardless of whether you are aware of me or not. I am much more dependable than the God of most people, who discriminates. People and all beings discriminate in their associations. They associate with foods, activities, and others that they think are good for them and avoid those they think are toxic. I don’t do this. I associate equally and fully with all, depending upon their receptivity to me. Therefore I am ten in compassion.
Wisdom: 10 I am pure knowingness. I know everybody and everything inside out. I do not need to think. I am pure awareness.
Acceptance: 10 What is there not to accept? I have no preferences. My consciousness transcends preferences and acceptance.
Inner Peace: 10 I am completely, utterly at peace all the time. How could I not be at peace? I live in the here and now. There is no past or future for me.
Witnessing: 10: I witness you breathing. I witness you taking me in through your nostrils, moving through your sinus passages, trachea, and filling your lungs. I witness your red blood cells taking me up and distributing me to your cells, which take me up and use me to grow. They transform my molecular clothes and exhale me into blood cells that carry me back to the lungs and then out again. None of this affects me in the slightest. I witness it all.
If you were in charge of my life would you live it any differently?
I would have you live your life from my perspective. When you meditate, I would have you be me instead of you. If you work at it you won’t have any more drama, because I don’t. You won’t have any attachment to thoughts or feelings, because I don’t. You will have inner peace, because I do. You’ll have the confidence you need to be successful, because like me, you won’t be afraid of death.
You are already tens in all six core qualities, Prana. But if you could improve, what would that be like?
Prana: Hmmmm…I would witness myself too, all the time! I do have beingness, and it is possible for me to witness my own beingness. I don’t normally do that. That’s post-graduate level study for me…
It would be for me too, Prana!
So Prana, now that you witness yourself all the time, if you were in charge of my life, would you live it differently?
Prana: I would fully experience its preciousness, its sacredness, its aliveness, its specialness.
What would you do about human life issues if you were in charge of the lives of humans, Breath?
Prana: They are nothing. What is important is to infuse them – everything and everyone – with me.
Prana, how are humans most likely to ignore what you’ve said?
Prana: You need to read this over. The work you already do with your breath is good, but you need to become it. You need to experience it breathing you.
Thank you, Prana!
We can see from the above interview that we have immediately available to us an innate and powerful causal and or non-dual meditation tool. It is based on giving up trying to meditate. Instead, you simply take the time to become prana and let it breathe you. The more fully, the more completely that you allow yourself to do this, the more profound will be your meditation.
Does this support life to become aware of itself as it mirrors your movement from sleepwalking to awakened awareness? It is similar to the transition of breathing from an automatic process mediated by the autonomic nervous system to a conscious process controlled by your mind and mediated by your central nervous system. It is not that conscious breathing is better than automatic breathing; what is better is to be able to do both. Up until now, your breath has automatically breathed you, for the most part. You haven’t yet grown to the place where you are aware enough to remember to breathe yourself as prana. When you meditate from the perspective of Prana, you move from being an unaware, self-centered, and subjective meditator to a mindful, life-centered, objective meditator. When you do so, your sense of self is no longer the center of your identity.
You can also begin to appreciate more deeply how your breath is an autonomous and sacred manifestation of life. It is the most personal and concrete contact with life that we have, yet we chronically take it for granted. We thereby experience a sacred and transformational presence as secular and mundane. By doing so we not only miss an invaluable opportunity to deepen our sense of oneness with life; we neglect one of the most powerful meditation tools that we have at our disposal. Choose to experience your breath as sacred and alive. Choose to become Prana and become it breathing you.