To give you some of my background… I used to meditate LOTS before I discovered Universal Medicine, but the style of meditation I used to do was a visual kind (where I visualised something) – and it was always a means to escape the world, a means to not be in my body, a means to be in a fantasy space, where there was no disturbance and I was left to be in ‘peace.’ I would visualise walking down a path in a forest, being in nature or visualise various colours around me, or filling myself up with ‘sand’ and ‘melting’ away any tension. Always a fantasy space.
But whenever I came back to the ‘real world,’ in other words when I finished my meditation, I really struggled with how to live in the world and bring this so called ‘peace’ back with me. In fact, I would often feel more agitated and irritated at having to be a part of life after having experienced such a ‘blissful’ state in a fantasy world. A bit of a contrast one could say, where this style of meditation only increased my frustration with how the world actually was and highlighted how much I just wanted to escape it all.
And so when I discovered the Gentle Breath Meditation™, it was a completely different experience. Without imposing or directing me in any way, it asked me NOT to escape into another fantasy world, but in fact to really just be in my body and feel the body. This was not always easy to do because quite frankly, I did not enjoy what I was feeling in my body – I got to feel how tired I was, how frustrated I felt, how sad I was about the way I treated myself and how hard I was on myself and how hard my body had become. But as I persisted with this Gentle Breath Meditation™, something began to happen where I actually began to feel the warmth coming back into my body, and I began to feel the gentleness creep back in. It only happened in increments, to begin with, but I could feel the difference… and then from here I kept building on this feeling.
Now, ten years down the track, I find myself in a place in my life where I know I would not be today if I had not put into practice the groundwork of learning the Gentle Breath Meditation™. It has been my foundational stepping stone to developing a solid relationship with myself, and has allowed me to embrace and handle life in a way I had never ever imagined possible, and far more powerfully than the way I used to meditate.
In the past, I used to meditate for hours (2-3 hours per day when I could) yet this did NOTHING for me other than make me feel even less equipped to handle the world. With the Gentle Breath Meditation™, I started with meditating for a few minutes in the morning and a few minutes in the evenings before going to bed, and then I found myself breathing gently whilst washing the dishes or driving the car… I was actually able to bring the effects of the meditation into my day-to-day life: I was more aware of how I was feeling and hence I could acknowledge this, and then choose to do things in life with the quality of gentleness.
This was a completely different experience to the other kind of meditations I used to practise that directed you to ignore the body and its true quality. In contrast, by first breathing gently and then doing things gently, such as opening or closing a door gently, opening a tap gently, sitting down, washing the dishes, brushing my hair etc. – all done gently – all these things essentially allowed me to feel more settled in my body and I have been able to handle situations more calmly and be less likely to get angry or frustrated. To me, this alone is very powerful, allowing me to stay aware and able to handle situations with grace… and as a result, not feeling so tired from emotional upheavals at the end of the day. Because of this I have been able to take on board so much more work and activities in my day-to-day, where today my ‘normal’ working week is 70-80 hours per week if not more, running my own business full time and also working for a college almost full time too… let alone having a family, children, dogs etc!
Many people today comment on how ‘calm’ I am and ask me how I ‘do’ this – they find it hard to believe that something so simple as Gentle Breath Meditation™ can transform your life. But it is powerful, especially when practised consistently and brought into the activities of everyday life – a connection with the body and the quality that we live with. And this has been a forever unfolding process where the ‘gentleness’ is then taken deeper and deeper until the quality changes to tenderness or delicateness.
Thank you Serge Benhayon for sharing the Gentle Breath Meditation™, which has allowed me to transform my life in ways I would never have imagined!
By Henrietta Chang, BNat, BBiol, MApplSci