by Aaron Kushner
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development is a primary longing that propels us toward wholeness
and the discovery of our true potential. It seems as natural as
the processes of physical birth, growth and death - an essential
aspect of our existence. For centuries, entire cultures have sacretized
inner transformation and have developed sophisticated rituals
and meditative practices to invite and encourage this journey.
Humanity has stored a treasure of emotions, visions, and insights
involved in the process of awakening in poetry, literature, and
music, and in the records of mystics and prophets. Some of the
most stunning and inspirational contributions in the realm of
art and architecture celebrate the mystical realms, for it is
within these luminous stirrings that our potent clarity can manifest
its wisdom leading us to new realms of possibility.
some individuals, without the skills needed to actively engage
this profound call, the transformational journey can be painfully
challenging and confusing . Holotropic Breathwork is one such
skill that can take us ever so deeply into our personal reality
that we unveil our personal potential.
experience unfolds altered states of consciousness which facilitate
transformational insight, and awaken spiritual emergence. In this
journey, emotional, psychosomatic and psycho-spiritual symptoms
are not problems to be fought with, but healing efforts by the
organism itself to be supported, encouraged and brought to illumination.
preparing for Holotropic Breathing, I begin with a discussion
of the many types of experiences that may emerge during the process.
This is very important, for many people are uncomfortable and
confused with unusual states of consciousness and resist their
healing potential. I convey a clear message that such phenomena
as death-rebirth sequences, archetypal visions, states of cosmic
unity, and integration angst are absolutely normal. The purpose
of this phase of the process is to give the participant impetus
to accept, trust and value whatever contents emerge.
the introduction I ask people to lie on soft mats and guide them
through relaxation exercises that focuses their attention on the
body, mind and breath. I then ask that they allow their rate of
breathing to be guided by the flow of music played throughout
the session. If possible, to suspend analytical thought and surrender
to images, emotions, and physical feelings that arise, completely
uncensored and unimpeded. During the event, I sit in attentive
devotion, that I may unconditionally encourage and support this
dramatic, experiential process. The emphasis for me is not on
insights, interpretations or interventions. My intention is to
encourage the client's innate brilliance by nurturing their journey.
reaction to this combination of accelerated breathing, music and
introspective focus may in some produce intense emotion, such
as sadness, joy, anger, fear or excitement. For others, an increase
in body tension expressed as tremors, spasms, pelvic movements,
or dramatic gestures in hands and arms. Frequently, the psycho-emotional
content of these experiences is revealed by accompanying visions
or memories. Some may respond by becoming progressively more relaxed,
losing their boundaries with the external world, moving directly
into a unifying, mystical experience. Activation of the psyche
by this mode of breathing seems to set in motion healing processes
that are governed by a spontaneous wisdom, for this reason, the
optimal mental attitude during the session is one of receptiveness,
openness, and willingness to experience with complete trust anything
that emerges from ‘deep mind'. The normal trajectory of
the Holotropic experience is to move from dimness into light,
where an easing of psychological confusion, physical pain and
difficult emotion releases a sense of joyous peace and spacious
clarity. The latter portion of the session is spent in quiet meditation,
slowly making the transition to every day consciousness.
the technique of Holotropic Breathwork, I see the client as self
healer and encourage them to realize this, and to cultivate a
sense of mastery and independence. Each client unravels their
own reality, uncovers the deep roots of symptoms, confronts the
unconscious material behind them, and embraces their essential
the session, I ask that the experience be documented in some way,
such as visual art, dance, writing, clay manipulation, poetry,
music, or some other personal format. This will allow full expression
of the emerging forces in the psyche, help to concretize unconscious
contents and facilitate their integration. This very integration
becomes the pulse of transformation. I see unlimited potential
for this means of dynamic self revelation.
Kushner, B.M.,M.M. is a Transformational Therapist working in
Halifax. He can be reached at 431-4105 or 902-489-6926 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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