Self Calming techniques do not lead to freedom

Here is part of an email answer to a friend who is practicing breathing techniques.

Breathing is natural, an instinct.   Your first breath was taken without any interference from the intellect.  The intellect does not have the job of ‘doing’ the breathing.  Trance states of mind induced by breathing techniques will naturally fade away.   The imaginary narrative about how it calms the mind and about how the believed in entity is ‘getting somewhere at last’ is fabrication.  Slavery to techniques has to be accommodated into the ‘life-style’ of the ‘self-image’ and what good is any of it?   Calming the mind won’t cure the problems of the ‘me’.  Calming the mind is useful in allowing some spaciousness to reveal itself.

If you run, the breathing will adjust itself instinctively. In sleep, the breathing adjusts itself. Many ‘teachers’ use breathing techniques to induce a particular state of mind. As I see it, when the ego sense tampers with the instinctive functioning, it will bring about erroneous beliefs about ‘me controlling the body’ and that will play havoc with the imagination.

Breathing is natural and easy when the mind is not grinding upon some thought or concept about ‘me’.  Running off with every concept that comes along is not freedom, no matter how much you try to convince yourself that it is.

If you insist on ‘doing something’, my advice is let the mind rest on nothing at all. For a short period each day (or several times a day)..allow the spacious nature of pure existence itself to pervade your whole being – without thinking about it. Wordless knowing comes to the fore.

Do this by being totally open, letting thoughts come and go easily, WITHOUT ‘going off’ with any of them. Do not imagine yourself as some ‘spiritual being’ – that is ego!

Thoughts are ALL spontaneous appearances and like every breath, they will disappear all by themselves. In fact thoughts have an obvious lack of ‘duration’ if they are left alone.
Witnessing thoughts come and go is easy and effortless. No struggle!

Referring all experiences to the image of self is the common problem.

The uninterrupted ever-present experiencing does NOT have an experience or an experiencer. The experiencer is a thought up ‘entity’ which has no substance. An experience is an ‘intellectual account’ of something registering upon the experiencing and being associated to the ‘me of memory’.  

Even though sensations appear to give that believed in entity some substance, those sensations, just like any other sensations, they will move and change by themselves.   If you recognize a trying to alter them, change them or hang onto them, take a look at ‘who’ needs to, alter, change or hang on to them?   The basis is a fictional character, ‘me’.

No one wants to be nothing. The ‘seekers’ imaginary problem is the constant insistence on being some ‘thing’, someone, a ‘person’ – but that ‘person’ is persona, the mask.

Drop the mask and recognize that life is effortless.

1 Comment
  1. Email: Gilbert,

    Just now seeing something that seems overlooked. So we usually say I am experiencing something. That assumes an experiencer, an experience, and the experienced thing. But really it is just one thing, which is the wordless experience of whatever is here. The taste of food, the sound of the heater and the sight of the computer.

    In the wordless actual experience (the actual sound, taste, etc.) , there cannot be an I. It’s just an assumption. The mind refers to an I though. That I is just the experiencing that basically shines light on the sound, taste or whatever is actually here. It allows it to be recognized. But it can’t be pinned down.

    But then we hang all types of experiences on the I like garments on a coat rack and memory keeps the illusion of the I going. There is a memory of this or that experience, which reinforces that I did this or I did that because I can remember it. But memory is just a right now experience.

    There is a definite lightness right now after realizing this. I realize that’s just an experience as well that will pass. Earlier anxiety was here today because of a business meeting, but that passed. The experiencing was always here…..if not how could either (any) emotion be known.

    Without buying into the words and the assumed I, it is simple to see all of this.

    – Thank you – P.

    Reply: Yes. Sounds correct, what you write. The ‘I’ is like a lens, clear and empty. No belief is the actuality. – Gilbert