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Breath = prana = is the life force = sustaining the mind & its personal identity and its thoughts, desires/fears, ups & downs = sustaining/keeping us in the illusion of life and the world as we know it. Thus yes, breath, as vital life force, is what enables us to enter, sustain  and experience what we call the human game-    life beautiful life!  Thus to move from the mind, thoughts, personal identity, ups and downs and the illusion…what enables us is the reverse… going beyond the breath and all that it entails!

(In meditation) as ‘breath’ slows, abates, stills - we experience what is called the gap between the breaths- and thus even as breath abates  we connect with pure consciousness… cosmic life force… vaster though subtler than breath… a cosmic life force rather than human life force!  Thus when we abide in the gap between the breaths we straddle the paradox of both breathing and yet abiding beyond breath … of living physically yet stepping beyond… of being beyond breath yet alive! and wholly aware! of being a vaster life force/consciousness …!  The breath becomes minimalistic enough to maintain the physical-corporeal body and yet the gap (beyond breath) …enables us to move beyond…

Thus as our breath (mind) recedes we expand into pure awareness; even as our breath (& thus sense of personal self) subsides we increasingly become one with All That Is; even as our breath abates (taking with it all that we have thus far known) we open to infinite cosmic potential… indeed as breath subsides, we die not but move into the experience of eternal life….through this repeated experience the fear of death also starts to recede….

Of course, it’s all a process!

And this abiding in the gap need not be only through PRANAYAM (breath awareness). Though yes pranayam can enable and aid the processes, we can move into and abide longer and longer in the gap through : GYAN yoga (the real-ization we are consciousness and not the body);  thru BHAKTI yoga ( in being one with the object/god of our devotion there is no self and we become one with consciousness );  thru KARMA yoga ( selfless action which enables the self to recede and Self to establish ); thru KRIYA-MEDITATION (expansion or dissolution  of ones energy field into pure consciousness)!Indeed  all paths lead us beyond breath into the gap; all paths enables us abiding there longer and firmer…! Thus pranayam is not only breathing exercises…but being in homage to abiding in the gap between breaths - breathing yet beyond it! Because otherwise, as long as I am just breathing –the personal self, its thoughts and world – cannot- not be!

And this brings us to the EUREKA of how MASTERS & SAGES live in the day -to -day world… do their actions… maintain their bodies …have seemingly ups and downs - yet live beyond it all as consciousness! This gap is where they abide! The breath maintains a  mind & body  to live in the world….but as they reside in the gap…none of that matters…they are beyond it even as its happening!!!! Whereas  we usually only visit the gap …first in meditation perhaps, then through day to day life we pop in and out…and thus experience moments of stillness/ larger self/consciousness/no self and then back to personal self and its thoughts, desires, fears, labels ups and downs! The TRICK is to abide in the gap longer, former, deeper… so that the personal/divyaa (put your own name here) self continues to function and breathe and have a mind and its thoughts /desires to function in the world…play ‘her’ role…seemingly have ups and downs...and yet AS I AM …ESTABLISHED IN THE GAP...those ups downs & thoughts and experiences  are not mine... and i am thoughtless…!

 Love Divyaa

 (P.S: At a more mundane level, breath= prana= life force, but as most of us don’t breathe properly we need to supplement this with 'food' which is only another form of prana! Indeed food is a physical form on a physical planet –of getting and maintaining enough pure prana that we need to live! The 'different' foods, are the different 'qualities/aspects/ essences within consciousness that we need! If we can truly see every food we eat as a unique beautiful aspect of prana...we can develop a healthy relation with food!  The finer the food the finer the prana we ingest! The finer the prana the finer do our food urges get!)

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