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> The Future of Breathwork and the Games Breathers Play
Oct 18 2007, 12:13


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The Future of Breathwork and the Games Breathers Play
October 2007 Breath and Breathing Report

Beware of the true believers: those people who claim to know whats best for you! I think it was Thoreau who said: If I know that a man is coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life!

I dedicate this months report to Bruno Hans Geba. He was my first teacher in the art of conscious living, and the man who initiated me to breathwork in 1973. He was a noted psychologist and professor at California State University. Brunos method inspired me; and his book: Breathe Away Your Tension opened my eyes, and changed my life.

I write to you from beautiful Barcelona, Spain, where it turns out, I am on a breathing vacation! My hosts are Rubin, Larina, Fedor, and Leo. Larina is a psychiatrist who first breathed with me in Russia in 1991. (I love how life keeps coming full circle!)

Thank you to everyone who offered feedback and editing ideas on my writing project. If you have not downloaded An Introduction to Breathwork, it is still available for free at www.danbrule.com/book.php .. I would appreciate your comments or suggestions.

(For those of you who read the first draft, you may want to view the current version.
Ive made many changes, and Ive added a number of new chapters.)

This month, I have a special request of my fellow breathworkers. Please tell me:
1. What is the real role of a breathworker?
2. What do you think makes breathwork unique?
3. On what grounds is breathwork justified as a profession?
4. What do you think it adds to the field of health and education?
5. How is it different from other self-improvement and spiritual development methods?

Someone recently called me the The Bruce Lee of Breathwork. And I think I like that! Bruce Lee was the originator of mixed martial arts. He violated tradition, and crossed the line. He blended techniques and methods from other schools into his own. He did this when it was considered a crime to pick and choose teachers, to mix and match teachings. He violated a cardinal rule. And by doing so, he created a totally unique style of fighting; and he proved to be one of the greatest marital artists in history. Not a bad role model!

And speaking of role models, in 1979, Leonard Orr gave us the task of inventing new names for Rebirthing. It was a great process: very revealing. Among other things, I got the idea to call it Breath Therapy and Therapeutic Breathwork.

But now its obvious to me that breathwork is intrinsically therapeutic, and so theres no need to direct the breathing process in that direction. And it seems to me that to put the word therapeutic in front of the word breathwork is a prolixity. (I looked that word up just for this occasion! It means a superfluous repetition.) Breathwork is therapeutic. Both words say the same thing. And so, the additional word adds nothing.

We use language borrowed from other fields to describe breathwork, but that does not make it something other than what it is. Terms like client, student, customer, are merely useful linguistic devices, social conveniences, familiar references. They do not definenor should they limitthe practice of breathwork or the breathwork relationship.

Breathworkers truly are therapists, but not in the way that we that generally think. I mean therapist in the original sense of the Greek word therapeutin, which means to serve.

The tendency to control a situation in order to achieve a certain result is a good thing, and it forms the basis of traditional psychotherapy. But a better thing may be to do nothing! A better thing may be to simply trust in divine intelligence, and to simply allow the natural process to unfold.

When you earn two or three dollars a minute, the urge to do something can be quite overwhelming. Some breathworkers feel that they must at least make their client cry or shout; they must use this or that technique, or apply this or that theory or procedure. But in doing so, they may only serve to satisfy their own insecurities, their pride, or their sense of professional duty.

Breathwork is unique. It operates under completely different principles than every other helping profession or healing method. To force breathwork into any old or existing framework is to destroy the very essence of what it has to offer.

The sole and exclusive concern of breathwork is the awakening to, and the development of, ultimate human potential. You are either breathing or you are not. The why, how, where, and with whom you breathe is up to you to determine together with whoever you choose to conspire (breathe together). It is a co-creative life adventure.

Quantum physics uses the term non-specific forces to explain how certain things occur in nature. I think this concept can be applied to breathwork, because the most powerful results and benefits of it become part of us without even knowing that it happened to us!

Breathwork is not based on the deterministic view that a specific set of conditions can lead to only one result. We acceptbecause we have experiencedthat a single event can lead to any number of different results. Direct experience is the difference between simply believing that something is true, and actually knowing it to be so.

Breathworkers recognize the beauty and perfection in the stream of experiences that occur in their lives and in the lives of others. Based on this view, we can create solutions; we can cooperate in the great adventure of life.

Breathworkers provide an unlimited opportunity for people to awaken and evolve. They understand that life is an open ended process. They practice an attitude and they provide an atmosphere where people can assume responsibility for their own healing and growth. They create a space of trust, spontaneity, joy, friendship, and love.

Breathworkers are not interested in curing or treating, fixing, or even changing or healing people. They understand that people have to do that for themselves. And, we understand that healinglike happinessis incidental: it is not to be pursued.

Beyond mastering a body of knowledge and a set of skills, breathworkers need to develop insight and emotional courage; they need to practice profound honesty and are not afraid to make use of compassionate power.

There is never a moment when the creative process is not at work. Breathworkers know that how you look at something determines what you get from it. And so we dont relate to people based on labels, disorders, or disabilities. (Even if people relate to themselves in that way) That doesnt mean we ignore a handicap, a disability, a physical limitation, or a temporary power difference. It just means that these things dont enter into the sacred contract: These things dont define the breathing relationship, or determine its course.

Breathworkers take nothing for granted. They dont judge and they dont label. They simply facilitate the breathers chosen process and goals. They remain honest, open, and real. They lovingly share their expertise, while honoring their own sacred process.

Breathworkers dont manipulate: they facilitate (make easy, make possible, ease, help, aid, assist, to smooth the process of.) The client is free to determine what they want and dont want to happenwhat they can or cant doduring a session.

But breathwork also comes with a real risk. Even if you have the most sincere desire to serve and support someone, he can still make you part of his game to hurt himself. And there is nothing you can do about it.

Breathwork as Recreation: Recreation means leisure, it means regeneration. It is the process of restoring, or giving new life to something. In Breathwork, that something is the human being: its our real true self. The great challenge in life is to determine who we want to be, and how we want to live; and then to actually be that one, and live that way!

You say that I am special. But how can that be? What does that mean? Is anyone non-special? Can anyone be un-special? (Guchu Ram Singh)

Next stop Lithuania (Oct. 19-29). Then its on to Mexico (Nov 10).
Bien Venidos!

The Human Flower: a suggested group process.
A circle of people sitting on the floor, facing each other, feet touching in the center...
Bending to touch our toes, then sitting up, leaning back, laying down, spreading out
Lifting our arms and legs, we stretch upward and outward
Feet and hands, toes and fingers, tingling, reaching for the sun
Evening comes, and the flower closes. Morning comes, and the flower opens again.

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