Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Can I use the breathing audio while I breathe?

Q: I have a question, I'm about to enter Session One tomorrow. But I'm not sure whether I should be repeating the Present Activating statements while breathing? I read in the book that we should do it when we are not engaged in mental activity? I'm always thinking? Does that mean I should do it only during the connected breathing sessions?Also can I play the mp3 while doing the breathing sessions so I can use that as a pattern of breathing while doing it? Something like a guidance?

A: I am currently in the midst of rewriting The Presence Process, not that there is anything wrong with the current edition - however I am ready to put out a more efficient prototype.
One of the changes is I no longer call them Presence Activation Statements - now they are referred to as Conscious Responses. Another change is that there is a Conscious Response used all the way through the procedure only for the breathing sessions - if we wish to do mental repetition while breathing. It is: "I AM HERE NOW". I suggest you use this during your breathing practice.
As per your question, you may be thinking all the time, which is a complete waste of time as all thinking is a dysfunction of the mental body - but this does not mean you are required to be mentally active all the time. If someone is having a conversation with me - I am mentally active. If I am doing numerical calculations - I am mentally active. If I am giving a presentation - I am mentally active. Using a Conscious Response during moments like this is not recommended. It's called , "trying too hard".
However, most of our time is spent meandering in meaningless thought. During these moments it is useful to repeat whatever Conscious Response we have been given for that week.

As far as the audio is concerned: It is only 5 minutes long, deliberately. The breathing practice is 15 minutes long. You may use the audio for the first 5 minutes to set a pace. However, do not tape and repeat it to the length of 15 minutes so it runs throughout your breathing practice, otherwise you are turning it into a crutch. This work is not about leaning. And, after a while of using it to set the pace - hopefully you stop using it altogether and rely on your own inner resources to establish the momentum of your breathing practice.