The breath is the key to unlocking your emotions and to restore your peace and calm during turbulent times. When stress arises just breathe in, and breathe out. It's just that simple. The conscious inhalation of the breath stops the mind from allowing an emotion to run away with itself, and the conscious exhalation allows the mind to purify the negative energy associated with that emotion. The breath and emotions are as intertwined as the body and mind. By learning how to control your breath you can relieve yourself of stress, regenerate your health, heal disease, reach enlightenment and even reach liberation.
When we have a close one, a near accident we exhale, whew. When someone insults us we say, hay. When we get excited at a carnival we yell, yahoo. When we feel sad and cry we weep boo, hoo, hoo. When we are frightened we scream, ah. All of our emotions are followed by a breath and sound so therefore breath and sounds are very important when are consciously trying to balance our emotions. When stress arises our breathing pattern begins to speed up and our blood pressure begins to rise. If we don't relax our body becomes tight and leads to stagnation and disease. With your mind's intent simply take charge of your breath and breathe in very slowly and fully and exhale very slowly and fully. As you take control of your breath your breathing pattern will slow down, your blood pressure will come down and physical tightness, stagnation and disease will be released. This breathing technique will calm the mind and your reaction to the stress of any given situation. Breath control is the most holistic and natural way to counter stress.
According to the American Medical Association stress is the mother of all disease but in our modern society stress in only increasing and so are our diseases. Often we get nervous about getting sick and our breathing begins to speed up or become sporadic. The exhalations and the differing sounds mentioned above are expressions of natural self healing but sometimes they are not enough to fully treat a given disease, therefore you can use breath control to increase the healing abilities of the breath. Even if you don't know any formal healing mantras, mudras, or breathing patterns you can just take a big breath, think of the area of concern and reciting a slight hum vibrational sound exhale and drive all of the discomfort out of your body through the bottom of your feet. This technique can ease mental anguish and even the physical suffering of a disease.
In the Emei Sudden Enlightenment Tradition there is a system of heavy breathing exercises called the Buddha's Samadhi Diamond Palm Training. Many qigong translators or practitioner have mistakenly called qigong breathing exercises and the breath qi, but that is not true. There is qi in the breath but breath is not qi. When a practitioner has qi realization they will find that qi is a bio-magnetic electrical infrared energy that exists in varying densities in and around the body as well as throughout the universe. By practicing heavy breathing exercises qi can be generated and even transmitted from one person to another, or other animate or inanimate objects. Through the Buddha's Samadhi Diamond Palm Training practitioners develop their qi, generally in about a year, so that when they exhale they can transmit healing qi energy to a sick person through their a powerful exhalation of the breath to treat their disease. High lamas have cultivated the qi in their exhalation through years of mantra recitation and their exhalation can also bestow healings, blessings, and consecration by blowing on the sick person, their student or inanimate object they wish to bless. This same qi energy can be controled by the breath and transmitted through practitioner's palms, feet, elbows and even the rest of the body once the body has become completely opened through deep breathing.
Blown by the winds of karma people in samsara are swayed by their emotions and circumstances like a candle in the wind. By taking charge of your breath you can take charge of your emotions, your body and your life. Most people are totally unconscious of their breath. Sometimes when they have a strong emotional circumstance they will see their breathing is very sporadic but even then most people are still unaware of the ability to use their breath to control any given situation. The stronger the emotion the stronger the breath and the better chance for recognition and control. If you look at your breathing right now you might feel your chest expand and contract but your body, mind and life is much greater than just your chest. Use the power of your mind to expand your breathing down into your abdomen and perineum. Then expand your breath down to your feet and into the earth. Then expand your breath to your head and into the sky. Then expand your breath to your hands and into the mountains, trees and ocean. Then expand your breath to other sentient beings purifying them of what ever ails them. Breathing fully you can unify your body and mind with the entire universe and reach enlightenment.
All religions are based on the practice of Guru Yoga, that is, having faith in a God or savior that will enlighten them or bring them to a promised land when they die. When we all die we finish with one last breath that ends in an exhalation, Ah!!!!!!! If you can combine your exhalation with the thought of your savior or God your breath can help carry your consciousness to heaven when it finally leaves the body. The Largest sect of Buddhism is the Pureland school and the basis of their teachings are very simple, and in that simplicity is their profound power. Faith in the Buddha Amitabha and the recitation of his name is their main practice. The practice of recitation of mantras or the names of a savior, god or Buddha is totally dependent on the breath. Without the breath there is no recitation. When the karmic aggregates of the "self" begin to dissolve during the dying process the mind and even the body can be dissolved through the power of their last exhalation. There are many examples of great masters who have left this world through spontaneous combustion, dissolution into the rainbow body, and other miraculous means. All religions of the world have the general notion of hell being down bellow and heaven being up above. When you become proficient in deep breathing especially into the central channel of your body during the dying process and your last breath is guided up through the crown of your head a red dot of lymph and blood will appear on the Brahman Aperture or the fontanel of your head which are the trace marks of a successful transference of the consciousness to the Pureland. So even though you're breathing all the time if done with conscious intent the breath can be a source of profound healing and enlightenment.
Time your breathing with the breath of the universe and all things can be understood!!!