Quote from the body of this paper:

“It must also be said that all, each and every one, of the generally practiced techniques, instructions, and exercises of breathing that we know of in this world are wrong, should not be used, and are capable of just as many negative results as anything positive that they can do. One just never hears about what they did not do and/or when they did not save the day, as they were meant to do. Their often negative results are seldom even recognized and usually attributed to other things.”

The ability to observe oneself in every way, inside and out, in both the physical and the mental aspects of one’s being, is the basis for the Path!

I repeat: The ability to observe oneself in every way, inside and out, in both the physical and the mental aspects of one’s being, is the basis for the Path! The disciplines for development of this capacity for total self observation must, therefore, form the very beginning of the Path. The papers describing those disciplines are already posted on this site. Everything in their contents should be mastered with a teacher/guide before attempting the disciplines contained in this paper. And that teacher/guide should clearly have mastered the Path and be capable of leading the candidate into the realm of higher experiences of God. And those higher experiences should be readily  present in the presence of such a guide, when the candidate has a positive, totally open, trusting attitude, under correct,  quiet,  meditative, circumstances. When, under formal conditions, a candidate is able to remain still and look into the guide’s countenance with totally centered, unblinking eyes and empty mind, the candidate should see and/or experience confirmatory signs that are unmistakably from God, showing the candidate the suitability of the guide for that candidate. Advanced candidates see such signs, and more, any time they look with centered being on their guide. That is a basic law of the Path, which God does not break.

Since our whole being from birth is centered on and oriented towards observing and learning about everything outside of us, and this orientation quickly becomes firmly imprinted on us, the first thing  we have to do is learn to observe ourselves, both our minds and our bodies, instead of observing things outside of ourselves. This change in the orientation of all of our observing will take a long time to achieve. And as we get further into it, our consciousness slowly expands until we can be aware of more than one thing at a time. These developing capacities, which are controlled by and given by God, make the simultaneous observing of body and mind possible, without losing our awareness of necessary things outside of ourselves. But at the beginning, of all these disciplines, until our consciousnesses have widened/expanded, we must, when practicing, concentrate all observing on ourselves only. Therefore, having a safe place to practice is necessary and choosing safe moments, when one is not in disruptive circumstances, is imperative.

As one becomes comfortable with self-observation one slowly notices more and more things about the observable workings of one’s body (and mind). As the candidate progresses and his consciousness broadens to be able to be aware of more things at once, the teacher will eventually instruct him in how to observe his breathing, without interfering with it.

It is crucial that the candidate be able to observe physical things in and functions of the body without interfering with them in any way whatsoever. The body is extremely complex, beyond the capabilities of the human mind to decipher on its own, and most functionings of a  healthy body are necessary in order for the body to continue functioning well. Changing even little things about how the body functions can lead to malfunctions, however subtle or not, that can negatively affect one. Especially in the first stages of the Path, it is most important to do everything in such a way that it in no way interferes with what the body itself needs to accomplish, especially with involuntary functions. But breathing is one internal, involuntary observable functioning of the body that can be improved without interfering with what the body needs to accomplish. But that can only be done in one very delicately subtle, difficult-to-implement way, which must be implemented without actively or in any overt way changing or otherwise directing the breathing mechanism to do anything other than what it is already doing. Because what the healthy breathing mechanism is already doing is being done better than anything a human being can actively direct it to do, namely keeping the body alive and supplying what the body needs.

By the time the candidate is able to observe his breathing without interfering with it in any conceivable way and has become adept at it, the candidate should have noticed a built-in unsteadiness and irregularity of rhythm in his/her breathing:

It normal situations, when the breath changes direction from breathing in to breathing out and especially from breathing out to breathing in, there is an innate unsteadiness and unevenness to the flow of the breath at those moments of change in direction. This unevenness when the breathing changes direction is most pronounced at the change from breathing out to breathing in. But it is present at both times. As long as the breathing is unsteady in this manner, the person will never be able to achieve true calmness and the higher levels of experience, all of which demand real stillness of mind and body.

In general practice, evenness of breathing can sometimes be naturally achieved through what is generally called meditation (sitting still and quietly for a long time) and also simply by sitting still and quietly in an environment where the influences around one are smooth and evenly flowing, such as a concert hall under best conditions, or even one’s own house, if it is quiet and its surroundings calm. But these are uncertain, unsure ways of achieving peace end quietness of body and mind, and can just as easily go the other way and make one less still if the circumstances are not optimal.

The only way to smooth the breath, without in any way affecting what the body is doing with the breathing, is an extremely subtle, extremely fine, extremely delicate discipline called “The Smoothing of the Breath”.

It must be said and emphasized right from the start of this description that this discipline is a PASSIVE discipline/action that leaves the breathing mechanism alone and in no way interferes with its working/functioning.

It must also be said that all, each and every one, of the generally practiced techniques, instructions, and exercises of breathing that we know of in this world are wrong, should not be used, and are capable of just as many negative results as anything positive that they can do. One just never hears about what they did not do and/or when they did not save the day, as they were meant to, and any negative results are seldom even recognized as such and are usually attributed to other things.

The rather tiny, seemingly insignificant, totally passive acts of simply observing the breath and, later in one’s progress, passively and delicately getting the breathing to smooth out, without actively influencing anything whatsoever about it…….those two seemingly small, tiny disciplines make real, large, noticeably positive differences in one’s body and in one’s life in general, if done correctly.

As one progresses through mastering observation, especially passive observation of  everything about oneself and then adds the specific observation of the breath to everything else, one notices the root source of all lack of true stillness, calm and peacefulness in the human being. That root source of all lack of true stillness is the fact that the breathing is noticeably rough and unsmooth when it changes from breathing in to breathing out and especially when it changes from breathing out to breathing in. These two unevennesses in the flow of the breath make true stillness impossible, until they become smooth.

Actually, under some circumstances the breathing will smooth itself out of its own accord. Those circumstances are usually when all influences around the person are smooth, fine and even in rhythm, and when the person relaxes over a period of time (anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour) in very calm circumstances. But this possibility of the breathing becoming smooth and even is a random crap shoot in which the moods of the person influence the result and any less than perfect influences around the person can send the breathing back into full unevenness. And the person has absolutely no control over when the breath will or will not smooth out.

But our breathing, left alone by itself, does what is necessary to keep the body alive and healthy, within the person’s physical possibilities at any given time. Any tampering with or changing what the breathing is doing in that way can cause profound changes in the person’s health, moods, and well being, which can change everything about that person in subtle, but powerful ways. The consciousness in any body is too limited to be able to be aware of all the ancillary functioning of the breathing system and unable to direct every requisite aspect of it in guaranteed positive ways. Therefore, the functions of the breath that perform necessary functions for the body, and the ways the body performs those functions, have to be left alone.

An analogy that might help understand this would be to think of standing up and walking. Even that much simpler function than the breath is too complex for our consciousnesses to be fully aware of.  If we suddenly had to be aware of and control everything involved in keeping upright and walking…..aware of each leg, thigh knee-joint, ankle-joint, every muscle that keeps the upper body erect, what the arms are doing, what the face is doing while walking, and all the muscles involved in walking, we would get so entangled, mixed up, and unable to keep track that we would fall down. And, while we can understand and even be aware of the physical-mechanical needs of walking, we cannot be aware of the physical needs and functioning of the breathing mechanism, even in unstressed situations, and certainly not in any stressed or otherwise unusual situations.

Therefore, in the first stages of the Path that address the breathing, the breathing mechanism has to be left alone to take care of the person’s breathing needs. Nothing should be done that might even remotely interfere with the breathing mechanism’s taking care of the body’s needs, and that is most especially hard to achieve in this first stage of (passively) influencing the breath. Throughout the whole progress of The Path and, if achieved, even after the full liberation, even much later, when the breathing mechanism is ultimately changed in certain ways that make it more efficient, the breath is always left to do naturally what it has to do to keep the body healthy, without interference from the consciousness in that body. The smoothing of the breath takes quite some time to achieve and is the basis for being able to meditate. Meditation, itself, is only one stage of the Path, which comes towards the beginning of the Path and is not a lasting stage of the Path. It is only done for a certain period of one’s progress and is a stepping-stone to the next period of the Path. When one has mastered it,  Meditation stops and other disciplines take its place. The basis for mastering Meditation is only established when one can smooth the breath. Then, the period of mastering meditation goes on until the breathing stops quite naturally of its own accord during a session.

At the point one the breathing stops of its own accord, one should only wait with the breath stopped for a moment. One should never wait long enough for any discomfort to develop. Before any discomfort can occur, one should consider the meditation over, stop it, and get up, allowing the breath to continue again in smooth mode. When that phenomenon of the breathing stopping of its own accord occurs a couple of times more, the progress of meditation is over and it is time to go on to the next stage of the Path, which is the first of two very long stages in which one begins to actively influence the breathing. Those stages are called the “Mill Wheel” and “the Breath Behind the Breath” respectively. They will be dealt with separately.


No one should ever try to implement those stages of the Path without someone who has mastered them and the rest of the Path to demonstrate and explain exactly how they work. That applies even if I go on to write the techniques involved. These writings are meant for those doing the Path with a teacher. The first stages might well be done without a teacher. But certainly the smoothing of the breath should be checked by a teacher and everything from the Mill Wheel on should be done with a teacher’s help, using any text solely as an aid and reminder.

Now, on to the second part of this paper: “The (passive) Awareness of the Breath”.