May. 7th, 2017 08:10 pm
[personal profile] tigertoy
I had two cool experiencse as I was driving home from EFRC today, both related to breathing.

Just north of Terre Haute, I started singing, as I often do when I'm driving. I'm having trouble which song I sang first, but I somehow discovered that I was able to exhale more deeply than usual, so I could sing longer without having to breathe and without losing volume and sounding like I was gasping (which happens when I don't breathe soon enough). This is cool, I thought, so I sang a couple more songs, realizing that I was able to use this new breathing technique on them, and that I really liked how things were sounding without pauses for breath in some places where they'd usually be.

After a few songs, I realized that my voice was feeling tired, and was probably unwise to push it. But I wondered if I could find any way to use this new breathing. So I started breathing slowly and deeply, trying to visualize a wheel turning steadily, so that I was inhaling as a point on the wheel rose and exhaling as it came back down. I tried to match my breathing to how I'd see that point moving if I was watching the wheel edge on. I inhaled through my nose, slowly at the bottom, then faster in the middle part, and then slower as it came up to the top; then I exhaled through my mouth, slowly as the point started to descend, and faster in the middle part, and slower as I came to the bottom. (Fellow math geeks, this is a sine curve.) The wheel I imagined turned slowly, and I was breathing much more slowly and deeply. It was remarkably peaceful and calming; I kept following the pattern all the way home. I noticed that while I usually tend to drive too fast and be irritable about other drivers, I kept finding myself driving below the speed limit, and I was calm about the other traffic -- not that there was a lot or very annoying. Once I got home and started moving more, I found that I needed more oxygen and I couldn't remain synched with the wheel, but I continued to breathe deeply and relatively slowly, still in through my nose and out through my nose and out though my mouth. I tried visualizing the wheel turning faster, but something wasn't right about that, so I just tried to breathe slowly. Every couple of minutes, I would visualize the wheel and take a couple of slow breaths in sync with the wheel, and then went back to breathing as I needed to continue what I was doing.

The peace and calm I found as I did this helped me to calmly brush off the trivial things that always happen as I putter about doing stuff, things which usually make me feel angry and will often lead me to curse. I think I've learned something significant here; I'm writing this entry to record these feelings to remind me if I don't remember it. I recognize that this is related to mediation, that it could be a form of mediation -- but I have mostly been unsuccessful in meditating meaningfully or for any length of time when I'm not being guided.
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