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4-4-8 (#9)

Position yourself in your most comfortable meditation posture. Relax your body, mind, and emotions. Witness the way you are breathing. As you can see, you are hardly inhaling or exhaling at all. Maybe the air is only going 2 or 3 inches down into your chest and only 2 or 3 inches out from your nose. Every cell in your body is nourished by oxygen and weak inhalations deny us the energy supplying air we need. Similarly, our feeble exhalations don’t allow us to expel the poisonous gasses lying deep in our lungs. This is why we often feel run down, crabby, and sleepy. The purpose of this technique is to cleanse your body, mind, emotions, and spirit by taking in a healthy, therapeutic dose of oxygen and ridding yourself of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and other impurities. You are going to achieve this purification by totally filling and completely emptying your lungs. The 4 - 4 - 8 Pranayama (breathing technique) will achieve a tremendous cleansing and revitalization throughout your entire body. Enhanced clarity of thought and uplifted emotions are always byproducts of this classic method.

Inhale deeply for 4 units of time. Fill your lungs completely, so you can see and feel your abdomen distend. Retain your breath for the count of 4 and then exhale for the count of 8. Any rhythm that you naturally establish is the right one for you, so if your units are 4 one second units of time for inhaling, 4 of retention and 8 seconds for exhaling, that’s fine. You can’t do this wrong.

When you inhale for a count of 4, visualize all divine and healthy qualities coming to you. See and feel yourself inhaling purity, sweetness, gentleness, health, vitality, tranquility, and so on. While retaining your breath for the count of 4, visualize all these attributes filling every cell in your body. Now exhale all impurities and un-divine qualities for a count of 8. See and feel pain, anger, illness, ignorance, impatience, and so on, leave you.

As with many pranayama techniques, it is recommended that you do it for either 3 sets of 12 repetitions each, or 12 sets of 12 repetitions. Each cycle consists of inhaling for 4 units of time, retaining 4 and exhaling 8. As you get into a rhythm, it will become easy and appropriate to see and feel yourself as pure, filled with light, energy, and love.

Although this meditation technique is specifically designed as a healthy cleansing, many have found it to be a perfect technique to use as their primary meditation method. As with all meditation techniques, it is far better to do them then simply to read about them. Do this method, experience its’ results and achieve Knowledge, Consciousness, Bliss, and Peace and live happily ever after.

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