The Root Breath
The root breath may be used to help conditions related to a fitful, speedy, dreamy, floating, or weak mind, or for individuals who may lack common sense, discipline, or clear and conscious direction.
Coupled with working with the root breath, we may also seek out the earth element, drawing upon its stable grounding energy for healing. Suggested practices include: touching the earth and stones with the hands and feet, consciously drawing its energy into the aura and subtle body; or sitting or lying on the earth, charging the aura and subtle body with the earth's strong force, feeling grounded and stabilized in consciousness.
One useful meditation is to sit or lay on the earth, imagining that all unhealthy energies in your body that cause anxiety, worry, insecurity, apathy, laziness, and inertia are being drawn out by the power of earth. Become one with the earth's immeasurable strength, and let gratitude and thanksgiving arise for the healing energy of the earth, and for the tolerance and bounty of the earth that sustains life.
The Navel Breath
The navel breath may be used to help conditions related to inconsistency or difficulty in bringing plans to fruition; likewise for rigidity or lack of fluidity, excitability, or lack of rest or peace of mind.
In addition to working with the navel breath, we may seek out and abide with a body of water, enjoying a creek or river, a pond, lake, or the ocean. Draw in the water's consistency, harmony, and its synthesizing quality, along with its fluidity and its calming qualities. Other ways to meditate upon water: Drink water, fully tasting and appreciating the water, deeply thankful for this life-sustaining element. Bathe or shower, feeling the soothing quality of water; as it cleanses you outwardly, visualize that all inner negativity is washed out of your subtle body and aura. Stand in the rain, and allow it to purify you. Enact a water ceremony (baptism) with friends. Alternatively, sit by a lake or stream and meditate, resting your mind upon the waters and allowing any negativity to flow away from you. If you cannot go to a body of water, then visualize one.
The Solar Plexus Breath
The solar plexus breath may be used for conditions related to a lack of zeal and will, lack of inspiration, drive, or motivation in life, lack of courage or conviction, or the inability to achieve our goals or intentions.
Along with utilizing the solar plexus breath, we may sit by a fire, whether indoors or outdoors, drawing in the strength of its motion, warmth, and light. We may also go out and bask in sunlight, drawing strength from the sun's great power. A powerful meditation is to focus your mind on the forceful, powerful qualities of fire and its consuming and radiant nature, drawing in its strength. Then envision fire within your subtle body and an aura of flames surrounding you, as it burns away and protects from all negativity, transforming shades and shadows into light. Alternatively, see the spiritual sun in the sanctuary of your heart and a golden aura surrounding you, your subtle body filled with the divine light as you abide in the remembrance of the indwelling Christ.
The Heart Breath
The heart breath may be used for conditions related to confusion, flightiness, general imbalances with breathing, difficulties concentrating, and qualities that suggest a lack of mental clarity—also slowness, dullness, heaviness of mind, laziness, and lack of insight.
Coupled with working with the heart breath, we may draw healing energy from the pervasive, flowing, and buoyant quality of the air. If the breeze or the wind is blowing, we may gain strength from it, or if it is still, abide in its calmness. An air meditation: standing in a breeze or in the wind, imagine it purifying your aura and subtle body, blowing away all negativity and charging you with its power. Speak prayers or chant into the wind, letting the wind carry them over the land and set your spirit free upon its wings. Then envision your subtle body as crystal-clear and hollow, filled with the all-pervading and light quality of the air, and be uplifted by the air's power.
The Jar Breath
The jar breath may be used for conditions related to constriction, confinement, lack of clarity or perception, density in mind and body, feelings of being blocked or obstructed, or extreme tension or stress. It may also be used for difficulties in memory or the retention of energy in the subtle body and aura (the root breath and the earth element may also help with memory and sealing of energy in the subtle body).
As you work with the jar breath, become aware of the openness and spaciousness around you, and the infinite possibilities of life generated by the unfolding of spirit-space and arising of the elements; let all negativity dissolve into space. A jar breath meditation: rest your mind on the space of your environment, or find a place with a view and relax your mind in the openness and vastness of space or the sky. Release all worries, stresses, and negativity into space, and set your mind free in the spacious luminosity of your inmost nature. Alternatively, envision yourself in a body of translucent light, imagining that you disappear like a rainbow in the sky.
The above provides a beginning for the use of the five breaths and power of the elements within our healing work. With time and experience we will learn much more about the breaths and the elements and their use in healing. Experiential knowledge and understanding will be far more empowering than anything that might be written or told to us. Essentially, we must begin to work with the breaths and elements in our healing practices to really learn about them. As in all forms of practice, we must be creative and seek to live within and be guided from within.
In closing, we may say this: in addition to working with the five radiant holy breaths, remember your breath and the healing power in it. Be conscious of your breath and remember to breathe deep and full, with fluid rhythm, for by breathing properly you will bolster your health and sense of well-being. Consciously breathing, allowing the body to find its own natural rhythm of breath in the presence of awareness, tends to spontaneously align and harmonize the five winds in the subtle body.
May the anointed breathe in us; amen.
From Gnostic Healing, by Tau Malachi and Siobhán Houston