PART 3, The Passive Smoothing of the Breath


Before one goes on with the Path and/or the breath, one must be sure that one can not only be aware of the breath almost all the time, even when doing other things, but that one has also made it habit to do so. Just about everything else one does on the Path builds on this ability to be aware of more than one thing at a time. And that ability to be aware of more than one thing at a time is a God-given thing that one can work on, but is only given when one has earned it. One can work on it and work on it and then, as if by magic, it suddenly is there and one’s consciousness/awareness has widened and one can be aware of more than one could before. And these improvements/widenings of consciousness and other proclivities are added to over time, until the candidate reaches the limits of his inherent possibilities. But that never happens when one works on it. A pianist can practice and practice and then, suddenly, he wakes up one day and can concentrate on all of the piece and play it, when he could not the day before. These are gifts of God and are always given in such ways that, if one is honest and observant, one knows they are gifts and not something one did oneself. The same applies to our “real” ideas: one can think and think all one wants. The real ideas, the right ones that really make a difference, always “occur” to one when one stops thinking. These are just some of the ways God clearly shows us that we are in his control and that he is “doing” us. And the limiting factor in all such things is our body and habits. If our body is unstill and not fine enough to receive and sustain an idea or inspiration or do something mechanically fine, then God cannot give that to us, because our bodies and habits themselves will wreck/dilute/change it and turn any inspiration or ability into something different from what God would transmit.

Similarly, one works on the breath and on the disciplines of the Path. But they do not happen for one until God can and wants to give them to one. The Path can only be completed by those who not only were created able to carry out the disciplines, but who deserve it through their actions and life…..and if God wants them to. No one else, neither a Guru, teacher, or whatever, can give any of it to anyone. But God will not give it except through a teacher who has mastered all of it.

There is one basic human body/mind machine/Creation. Therefore the real Path is ultimately the same for all, just with variations in the first stages according to where one is when one starts. No matter whether it was called Yoga, Buddhism, Tao, or simply the Path of Liberation, etc., the real Path is the same for all and cannot be learned or mastered by oneself. That is not how God does it and just will not happen right that way.


The TECHNIQUE OF THE Passsive Smoothing of the Breath

Once one can be aware of the breath most of the time and the breathing has, of its own accord, calmed down and become smooth a few times by the end of a meditation, it is time to begin the passive smoothing of the breath.

This step of the Path, the passive smoothing of the breath, will probably be the finest, most delicate thing you will ever have had to do up to that time in your life.

The problem is passively to coax the breath to smooth out without actually actively forcing it in any way to do anything.

By this time, one should have clearly noticed that, while the breathing is smooth when breathing in or out, it is not smooth when it changes from breathing in to breathing out and even less smooth when changing from breathing out to breathing in.

It is these changes of direction of the breath from in to out and from out to in that are at the root of all basic underlying lack of stillness of the human being/body. It is the unevenness when the breathing changes direction that keeps one from being able dependably to experience “peace” and calm whenever one wants to experience it.

If one should not interfere with the life necessities that the breathing provides, how, then, does one smooth the breathing without affecting/interfering with the way it is breathing?

That is done as follows:

If you empty your mind and simply observe, you should eventually arrive at the realization that there are two different types of things going on:

1) your body is breathing and

2) you are observing it.

The one is material-physical, while the other is immaterial-consciousness.

The trick or “knack” is to do the following, which should be extraordinarily subtle. First, as in the passive awareness of the breath, follow along with the breathing, imagining that the breath comes in up your back, goes up and around in an arc around your head as it changes direction from in to out, goes out down your front, goes down in an arc between your legs as it changes from out to in, to come in again up your back. Get that feeling/knack/habit going steadily and evenly.

You should have noticed by now that the change from in to out breath is less uneven and calms down more quickly than the change from out to in breath, which is more uneven and physically unsteadying and takes much longer to calm down, if it ever does.


It must be emphasized before going on that what is described here is, in reality, a very delicate, subtle, ephemeral thing. Just the act of describing it already, in itself, magnifies it and makes it sound like something much larger and more active than it is. We human beings are used to no-pain-no-gain ideas that make it seem like the more strength or power involved in an action and even the larger an action is, the more powerful that action is. THAT WAY OF THINKING IS A HUGE, AWFUL MISTAKE. (Yes, I am shouting it! I cannot shout or otherwise emphasize that statement enough!) One of the great ironies in the way God has created his masterpiece, the human body, is that the greatest changes, the strongest lasting effects, and the most powerful influences on it are affected just the opposite of our natural inclinations, namely by extreme delicacy, subtlety and by relatively small-seeming and non-powerful actions. Body building and sports, with their usual emphasis of greatest strength and power mostly only address the external muscles/musculature of the body. There is also an equally important, no, even more important internal musculature of the body, which is usually not directly addressed at all and which is more powerful in effect with regard to health, well-being and self-development and, ultimately, sensory experience. While the Path does address the external musculature of the body enough to keep the body in decent shape, its focus is on developing the internal musculature of the body and the profound changes that can be achieved through careful work on the internal body.

Evidently, God has designed the body and how he controls body and mind so that only those who, in his view, deserve it, will be able to do the Path and achieve higher experience. Since all meaningful higher experience demands calmness and stillness for long periods of time, which are necessary for those experiences to begin, develop in time, reach a peak of intensity, sustain that intensity for some time, and then subside smoothly, the ability to be still is the prerequisite for all higher level experiences. In that light, the smoothing of the breath is the single most important thing/step in the whole process and should be taken extremely seriously. It should especially be remembered that there is no way to hasten or force the breath to become smooth, without eliciting many other undesirable effects in the body. God created the body so that the dependable, safe, furthering smoothing of the breath can only positively be done in one way, and that way is what I will now describe. Attempts on one’s own to force the breath to be smooth should be avoided at all cost.


One is ready to begin when one

1) is in a calm tranquil environment

2) is in front of a mirror

3) is in half-lotus position, and

4) has calmed down and has become quite mentally still and tranquil, thinking of the breath coming in up the back, around over the head, and down the front as usual.

On such a cycle, when the breath gets to the end of the out breath and is about to change direction to breathing in, at that moment when the breath, by itself and of its own accord, starts changing from breathing out to breathing in, very calmly linger with your mind for a split instant in the feeling of breathing out while the breath actually is changing direction. And then, when the breath has almost totally changed direction, very calmly and without the slightest agitation, nervousness, or any other anything that would even minutely disturb your placidness, let your mind catch up with the breath and continue on with the breathing as though nothing had happened. This has to be done in a mentally and physically calm and relaxed manner, with only those muscles activated anywhere that are necessary to keep the body upright. Hence the lotus position, which, when done correctly, not only most rationally supports the body, but also regulates the body in other furthering ways. The lingering in one’s mind in the sense or feel of breathing out while the breath is changing direction should be a tiny thing, so tiny that it in no way actively influences the muscles doing the breathing. It should be almost nonchalant. As I said, just mentioning and describing it already makes it seem larger than it is and could make it seem like something active that one does, rather than the passive, purely mental, extremely short-lived and subtle, fleeting thing that it should be. There are hardly adjectives that can be used to provide a real sense of the delicacy and tininess of this technique. For that reason alone it should be taught by someone who has mastered it and its further ramifications. Anyone trying it by themselves should eventually get to someone who has mastered the Path. Because the achieving of a smooth breath brings other needs and signs with it that lead to necessary further/next steps on the Path.

In sum, the passive smoothing of the breath, without affecting what the breathing mechanism has to accomplish to keep the body alive and healthy, is accomplished by the consciousness in the body lingering for a split instance in the feeling of breathing out, while the breathing mechanism affects on its own the change from breathing out to breathing in. The mind/consciousness then, remaining totally relaxed and calm, catches up with the breathing mechanism once the physical change of direction has nearly been accomplished.

The seeming simplicity and lack of administration of any power or force on the body at all should not be mistaken for lack of effect. This technique, correctly exercised, is quite possibly the most powerful thing the person will ever accomplish, with profound effects on almost everything else in the body and mind, as well as one’s life.