Yvonne Lautenschlager, 1

Interview with Yvonne Lautenschlager

MP:

Can you describe how you meditate?

Yvonne:

I simply do conscious breathing whenever I *think* of it. It is especially helpful for me when I am in challenging situations. Breathe in ... Gap ... Breathe out ... Gap ... The gaps are thoughtless, an oasis to rest in peace and silence. The only time I do it regularly somehow is shortly before sleeping and in the morning after I wake up. I deliberately get up about half an hour earlier than I have to, to just sit in bed, with something to drink and just breathe and let come (and go!) to my mind whatever arises.

Sometimes I try to get conscious of my inner body simultaneously. Very rarely I do guided meditations, for example by Adyashanti or maybe when I am attending a workshop. But it always comes down to breathing for me! I love it! It is so simple and can be done where-ever I am, however I move or sit or lie...

MP:

I too am most fond of unstructured and unguided (or rather what I call self-guided) meditation. Have you been involved in more structured or guided meditations in the past?

Yvonne:

Yes, I did structured and guided meditations. A few years ago I participated in a yoga group and there we sat in meditation in addition to the yoga exercises. It was nice in a way, but ultimately not my style. From time to time I visit workshops, where mostly one part is meditation. But for me the most profound way is like I described in my last response.

MP:

I want to understand more about the breathing. I have actually tried this method with some interesting results. I notice that the timeless moment at the end of exhale is easy for me, whereas the one that follows the inhale feels very emotional, tight and forced. Have you had similar experiences, can you recommend a solution, and do you ideas about what the imbalance of the two cycles is related to?

Yvonne:

The first gap (after inhale) is much shorter than the other, yes! That is physiological. I don't feel any tightness or something else. Maybe it is because the compression in the lungs after inhale is larger. The *need* to exhale is bigger than to inhale. Another physiological aspect for the *forced feeling* could be that the heart rate increases during the inhale.

MP:

I hear what you are saying and that all makes sense. However, I believe that part of the problem is emotional– that the two cycles are distinct in some way– perhaps conscious and unconscious meeting in the stillness. One cycle inclined to be more deliberate and so more difficult to surrender. Tell me more about the heart racing during inhale.

Yvonne:

Absolutely, an emotional issue going hand in hand with a physiological fact maybe? The increase of the heart rate is associated with the so called *Frank-Starling-mechanism* Too difficult to explain :-), anyway the increase is *normal*.

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