Yvonne Lautenschlager, 2

Interview with Yvonne Lautenschlager

MP:

Do you get to a point in this breathing meditation where you feel as if you are being breathed by the whole, or does your breathing simply fall into the background of your experience and a deeper awareness take over?

Yvonne:

Hui, that's a tough one :-) No, it is not a _feeling_ *being breathed*, rather a *knowing* (difficult to explain). I would describe the feeling rather as a deep peace and confidence (but here also *feeling* doesn't match it completely accurate, hmmmm, a *felt knowing*???) In addition, especially when I do the breathing in challenging situations, a certain *clearness* appears.

MP:

Would you say you are relatively free of sensation in the body? What is the mood? Is the clearness like an internal fog clearing?

Yvonne:

Concerning meditation I am quite free of sensation in the body in a common sense, yes. For example I never/rarely had so called energy-flows, chakra feelings and so on. The clearness appears when before there was for example fear, felt as indisposition in the stomach-area and heart-area. For me it is like a sudden realization to be not attached to the situation (like the mind wanted me to believe) and comes along with peace and happiness. Where before I felt *heavy* in my whole body, then I feel light and free again.

MP:

As far as meditation goes, In terms of mood, what goes on for you emotionally while in the midst of it– anything? I would like to add another question now, as I have just played with the breathing exercise or meditation that we have been talking about and I am clearer on my problems with it. Between exhale and inhale the body is its most relaxed and so it easy for me at least to surrender to nature taking its course and the breath coming back in.

There is a noticeable gap there. However, between inhale and exhale as the lungs are filling it is very difficult to refrain from stepping in and "deciding" the lungs are filled enough, etc. As the lungs can fill further, for some reason I intervene, instead of allowing. This is when it feels particularly emotional for me because something in me wants desperately to let nature do its thing. This gap is therefore practically non-existent or at least unnoticeable to me. Do you experience a difference between the two gaps in terms of length or quality of peacefulness?

Yvonne:

Regarding mood, mostly I feel very peaceful and still. Sometimes a great feeling of non-directional love arises. As far as the gaps go, the gap after inhale is definitely shorter, yes, I can enjoy the other one more, but it is also peaceful. When I read your question I remembered that I practiced breathing for a while, without a background of meditation at that time, it was to make breathing more conscious to me and stop the superficial/shallow breathing I was used to.

The practice was to count to 7 whilst inhale and exhale and consciously make a break between both. Like I said, nothing to do with meditation at that time, it was stressful in the beginning. But maybe therefore the gap is no problem for me?? There is another crazy thing I did to become more aware of my breathing throughout the day in general :-) Last autumn I got me a wristwatch with a programmable self-repeating vibration alarm. I programmed it to 15 minutes and every time it buzzed I consciously took 4-5 deep breaths.

I followed this procedure for about 6 weeks or so. After that time breathing was somehow *established* in me and I could leave away the watch (besides from that you won't *feel* the buzzing any longer after a period of time, in the end I had to change the wrists or put it into my trouser pocket) After all a quite unspiritual action and quite *mindful* too, but it helped me to de-condition my old breathing habits.

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