This blog entry is dedicated to the ‘breathwork’ that I did at the hippie retreat in Ubud, Bali.
Wikipedia explanation: “Breathwork refers to many forms of conscious alteration of breathing, such as connecting the inhale and exhale, or energetically charging and discharging, when used within psychotherapy or meditation. Proponents believe breathwork technique may be used to attain alternate states of consciousness, and that sustained practice of techniques may result in spiritual or psychological benefits. Breathwork may also relate to optimal healthy breathing in a healing context.”
More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breathwork
Where I stand on new age hippie stuff is basically where I stand with ghosts and aliens. I don’t believe or disbelieve, I am somewhat skeptical but accept that there is a lot in this world that I don’t understand.
The first guided breathwork session was a group activity. I went into it with no information at all (even less info than you have now after reading the above description). There was about fifteen women and two guys, the guide and a handful of ‘angels’ to help us. We started out all dancing around together to ‘warm up’. I hated this. It felt awkward and stupid. I wanted to leave. Next we randomly chose a partner and sat down for an uncomfortable exercise where one person talked for three minutes while the other listened and then we switched. All sentences were supposed to start with “What I really want…” I had to start and I said: “What I really want is to understand what the fuck is happening here.” then “What I really want is to not have to talk right now.” The other girl looked at me compassionately as we sat in silence until it was her turn, then she talked for three minutes about how she just wanted to feel ok, etc. and she cried. It sounded like there was a lot of sniffling going on from other people too so clearly I missed the point of this exercise. I think we were supposed to be setting an intention or something. I really enjoyed listening to her without obligation to engage or respond. Without having to think of something comforting to say. I could just listen and squeeze her hand while feeling like I was in some way helping her by listening to her personal stuff.
We then all laid on the floor and started the hour-long breathing exercise which involved a ‘circular’ breath. In and out steady and slowly without any pause in between. It’s sort of like hyperventilating and the physical effects are similar: light headed, tingling hands, etc. I suppose it’s a cousin to meditation or a distant cousin to dropping acid. Each person’s experience is unique. I heard a lot of crying around me so I guess for some it was healing or helped them work through stuff. Some people realize certain truths about themselves or have some kind of personal growth or become more personally aware. Many enthusiastically claim it is transformative or at the very least: an intense experience.
There was also some meditative style music playing with voice affirmations or something. At the point where a soothing, Goddess-like voice cooed: “Everyone wants love and joy” I had a flash realization that I do what I do (make porn) because I want to be loved by the men who jerk off to me. I realized that my fans, as a group, make up the equivalent to one partner I’m in a relationship with. I’ve often said that I’m married to my business and it would be difficult for most men to date me while I do what I do because my fans get so much of my intimate sexual energy. It IS a relationship. It’s give and take. My fans send me fan mail (the equivalent to a husband telling his wife she’s beautiful, cherished and appreciated) and they give me money & gifts which is an effective way to measure how much I’m loved and appreciated. I give my fans orgasms, joy and entertainment. I help reduce stress. I offer acceptance of their niche fetishes.
It wasn’t the most profound experience in the world but I managed to have a little cry at the end anyway. I wasn’t crying for any particular reason but a lot of people were crying and I suppose it’s like when one person starts throwing up and then everyone starts throwing up. Laughter, crying, puking, yawning…it’s all kind of contagious.
Afterward when everyone was laying in a cuddle puddle and sharing their experiences I really felt like I missed the boat. It seemed a lot more ‘transformative’ for everyone else. I wondered if I was ‘broken’, or blocked from achieving certain levels of emotions or whatever. Maybe I just didn’t have shit to work through?
When I had an opportunity to do it again a couple days later in private, with just the guide and my two friends I was excited to give it another go. I promised myself to really put my all into getting as much from the experience as possible. ‘When in Rome!”
This time I had some one-on-one time with the guide before we got started. We talked about what I was hoping to get from the experience, if there was anything I needed to work through, etc. I didn’t know what to say. Everything is pretty awesome in my life. I’m happier than I’ve ever been. She assured me that over-achieving, satisfied people got value from breathwork too.
During the exercise I was open to having a cry but instead I felt this powerful force inside of me, radiating from me and growing…coming from my lower torso area…I felt like I was standing on the edge of a cliff, that I had huge powerful wings like a phoenix, I was strong and fearless. I heard the guides voice saying that I was breathing beautifully. I felt like I was fanning the flames of a fire with the air coming in and out of my stomach. I felt like I could levitate and fly. I felt invincible. As I breathed and pumped my stomach and apparently (I was told after) my pelvis was also pumping up & down the guide said I was radiating incredible sexual energy. She seemed rather ‘wowed’ by it.
When the exercise was finished and we were normalizing our breathing I really had to pee (this also happened the first time) but this time I was so lightheaded I had to crawl to the bathroom & pull myself up onto the toilet. So much for flying, I couldn’t even stand up! As I did the first time I peed and peed for a very long time, a lot of fluid. I’ve experienced this a little with lymphatic drainage massage where your body kind of releases toxins and cleanses through a larger than usual quantity of urine. I thought that was an interesting physical response to the exercise.
I felt a little emotional after but the feeling of power still radiated. That feeling of strength and fire. I can still feel it actually, just thinking back. That power pulsing from my lower torso and a feeling like I have massive wings.
The images below are of me at the retreat that week, where we stayed, the rice paddy fields surrounding us, a fire purification ceremony I participated in (by throwing symbolic things into the fire while thinking about stuff I need to let go of and of things in life I want) and a water temple purification thing I did where I also made ‘wishes’ or set intentions as I got cleansed with holy water.