Why Meditate 4 – Breathing

There are two words in the English language that make me smile. The first is ‘Inspiration’ that we use to mean when we get that flash of genius that solves a problem or creates a wonderful work of art or a scientific breakthrough and so on. The second is ‘Respiration” that we use to describe both the process and product of breathing. I smile because when any of us use these words, even the most committed atheist among us, we are really talking about spirit.

To be inspired means to be filled with spirit. This would seem to be an acknowledgment of the connection between all creative processes and the universal energy that some call ‘source energy’ and others refer to as ‘God’ or Yahweh, or Brahman and so on. Whatever we call ‘that’ thing we can all acknowledge that there are some of us that are, at some point, inspired and inspirational, else we would not have any invention or charismatic leaders.

Respiration or to respire is to breath and exchange gases through inhalation and exhalation. The word respire really means to ‘re-spirit’ or to refill with spirit. So that again we make the connection with spirit or ‘that’ thing and our self, our experience and our life.

It is said the the first thing that we do in life is to breathe in and, the last thing that we do in life is to breathe out. It is the breaths in between these two that are what we call our life, when we stop breathing this life comes to a close.

We do not realise the importance of breath. I know that if we do not breath we die, that is not what I mean, it is more to do with the quality of our breath, it depth, it speed and repetition, because there is something that you should understand about breath. It is this, we all get the same amount or breaths. Life ‘time’ is not counted in years it is counted in breaths and heart beats. There is a direct correlation between breaths and heart rate. The faster the heart the quicker the breath, the faster the breath the quicker the heart.

If we assume across the world human life expectancy is an average 65 years, while a hamster has an average life expectancy of three 3 years and, amazingly a whale is around 150 years, but the number of breaths and heartbeats for each species will stay the same, in fact all amphibians, birds, fish, mammals and reptiles live life spans of the same average heart beats and breaths. The heart rate of a whale is around 10 heartbeats a minute and hamsters is 450 per minute. Yet for both, during their life they will both have the same number of beats averaging about 1 billion.

On average, humans breathe about 960 breaths per hour that equates to 23040 breaths in a day and 8409600 in a year. If you were to live to 80 you will take around 672,768,000 breaths, based on your average respiration rate at rest. If you exercise your heart rate and respiration will increase while under exercise, but will drop back to a slower rate after the exercise. The other things that will increase respiration and heart rate is stress and anxiety

Considering all this the process of breathing is the focus of meditation and mediation techniques. Almost all mindful meditation techniques begin with breath focus, and in meditation and relaxation heart and respiration rates drop significantly.

The punch line is that those people who breath slower live longer. People who remain physically fit will breath slower when at rest, and the most efficient breathing comes from the meditators who are taking control of their system and are leading clam and relaxed lives. It is always true that in life we do not need to slow down, we need to calm down.

So you see calmness, relaxation, meditation, and a long life all go together.

Enjoy your meditation

Be happy

Sean x

 

Picture credited to http://f-journal.ru/kak-uluchshit-obmen-veshhestv-v-organizme/

My name is Sean Orford. I am a therapist based in the UK, working for a variety of public and private organisations. I am also a speaker, writer and published author. I hope you enjoy my weekly blog. If you'd like to know more then please do get in touch.

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