Sunday, March 20, 2011

Holotropic Breathwork - March 19, 2011

Yesterday was my fourth Holotropic Breathwork session and Lori's second. It was our first time with the Boston Holotropic group which made it close and convenient. If you aren't familiar with Holotropic Breathwork, it is a group process of deep accelerated breathing and loud evocative music that puts breathers into non-ordinary states of consciousness where amazing things can happen. I find it to be the most amazing, transformative, and healing experience I've ever come across. It allows for an inner journey, that often seems like a psychedelic trip, yet involves no drugs or alcohol. It is fueled solely by your own breath. The best instruction I heard this weekend was "Breathe until you are surprised."

You work in pairs, there is a breather and a sitter. A sessions goes for 2 - 3 hours then participants swap for a session later that day or sometimes the next day depending on the workshop. Yesterday was the first time Lori and I were partners. The first time, last December in Vermont, that Lori tried it we didn't want our relationship/involvement to effect the other person's experience so we partnered with other people. Now that we are wily veterans it felt fine to work together, and I'm so glad we did.

This weekend included a group of eight breathers at a time and Lori breathed first. It took roughly ten minutes until I was sure she was having an experience. She had a sleep mask covering her eyes and a blanket pulled up to her chin, so the only thing I could clearly see was her mouth. I've never seen such a beautiful sight. Her smile was almost blinding with joy. She rocked in place to the music and became very verbal and active with her arms. The first words I could make out were, "Fly, be free!" She seemed to be throwing things out into the air, then at times was playing with her own hair, tossing it all around having a grand time.

Soon it became clear she was having a full conversation with someone and laughing hysterically through out it. I knew, and she later confirmed, that she was talking to her dad (who passed away almost 29 years ago). She kept saying such things as, "I know, I know", "I will", "Uh huh", "all right", "ok"... and laughing like a loon the whole time. I had so much fun watching her and feeling the love and joy emanating from that smile. Her laughter filled the room and was infectious. As I made eye contact with other sitters and the facilitators wandering the room, they were all laughing too. I've never seen any breathwork experience like this before. I teased Lori earlier that this is supposed to be traumatic and healing, but she just keeps making it fun. She went overboard this time.

Watching my wife so full of love, life and joy was the most amazing experience for me. She's never looked more beautiful to me. A single tear of joy rolled down my face as I lay next to her. I felt like I was witnessing a miracle and I hope that feeling never fades.

Lori's Mandala
At times she sat fully up, laughing like a mad woman, saying "I know, I know", "ok, ok", "That's silly." She was reminiscing all sorts of stories and memories with her dad. Once I heard her say "That's f'd up", because she couldn't swear in front of her dad. She seemed to be having the time of her life and it was an honor to be in her presence.  This lasted for over an hour then it slowly faded away and she got quiet and still with occasional bursts of physical movement. After about two hours and fifteen minutes she opened her eyes and was ready to stop.

My breathing session was in the afternoon and this one was unlike any other. My prior three experiences had a lot of tears, sobs and pain. This time... it seemed just like a really deep meditation. I felt very protected, blessed and that things were healing, yet there were very little visuals, I barely budged the entire time and I didn't have any vivid memories or experiences. At some points I wondered if I'd fallen asleep even. Then suddenly the music stopped and I thought, this can't be over not much than an hour could have passed yet. When I opened my eyes, there were no other breathers in the room and Lori was sitting by my side. She thought I went very deep and had quite an experience because I moved so little and she said there were multiple times it seemed I stopped breathing completely.  Friday night the workshop leader mentioned something called "blue-lip bliss", a meditative state so deep that some people forget to breathe. That seemed to be where I ended up. I was very aware of the people, sounds and movement around me. I could tell others were having quite vivid experiences, people were screaming crying, pounding the floor... I did my best not to feel disappointed and just let whatever happens happen. I had a few visuals, like I was in some universal sized snow globe, protected and safe, the last thing I recall seeing was a gold crown, which made me laugh as it reminded me of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It was like I was seeing my quest or something.

My Mandala
Anyway, I got up from my mat quite easily and went to draw my mandala, which was rather bland as I "saw" so little this time. The mandala is a little arts and crafts project you do after your breathing session. Before you even speak about what happened to anyone you put it on paper. It is another way to integrate your experience.

In the closing session someone said, "I've done a lot of drugs in my life, but nothing gets me high like this does." I couldn't agree more. If you like new experiences or are into personal exploration, you owe it to yourself to try Holotropic Breathwork.  For those in the Boston area, there will be another session in Belmont in May. Visit Boston Holotropic for info.

Much more went on in my breathing session that I'm aware of because I slept for over 11 hours last night and have been overcome by tears a few times today, especially when I recall watching Lori.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing- what a wonderful experience you had, and how beautiful you speak of your wife. I will be looking into attending one of these sessions myself. You are a brillent teacher!

comer para perder grasa said...

Thanks for your contribution, we need to discover through meditation and for ourselves, so make externalize the feelings, the music helps make it to our inner self without drugs, through wise ect