Breathing practices and movement work

Dzogchen I've been learning some moving meditation from a book I've been reading on Dzogchen, as well as some suggested breathing exercises. It's meshed nicely with what I already do for my daily work, but I've also noticed some interesting effects. The exercises I do don't involve any leg movement (you sit in the full lotus position). You move your neck, torso, your arms, and your pelvis, as well as the perineal muscles. There's a series of exercises you do and each of them is to help you with an elemental energy. What I noticed when I did the exercises is that I felt connected to my body more closely, both during the meditation and afterwards. I also felt that I connected with my internal energy and that doing the exercises circulated the energy.

One night after doing these exercises I did go through a bout of insomnia where I intimately felt connected to my body to the point that I felt every sensation and couldn't do anything to get the sensations to stop. Every itch, ache, and other feeling stood out in sharp relief. This lasted for a few hours. Eventually it subsided and I was able to sleep but it stood out to me and I realized doing the meditation was probably what caused the experience. This didn't stop me from doing it the next day, but I made sure to cycle the energy down a bit when I went to sleep.

Another thing I've been working on is a breathing exercise. With the breathing exercise, when you inhale, you pause and then inhale again. After that you exhale. the inhale, pause, inhale is done in order to use your lungs to their full capacity. I'd never come across this particular breathing technique before, but I've been doing it as I do the exercises and that also seems to contribute to the intimate experience of body awareness that I felt.

From Healing with Form, Energy and Light

"Realizing the nature of mind, we find that what we are in the inseparable state of awareness and emptiness. When we realize that, we realize the essence of space. If we abide in the nature of mind, merged with space rather than identified with what arises in space, there is an effect in life. There is nothing to defend no self that needs protecting because our own nature is spacious and can accommodate everything...Space is the ground of everything, the fundamental reality. We generally think of earth as representing groundedness, and it does as long as we believe ourselves to be one thing separate from everything else. In duality, earth is the ground, space is the absence of ground. But in Dzogchen, space is the ground. The practitioner merged with space is more grounded than earth because he or she is the space in which earth exists"

This saying, to me, fits what I've experienced doing the meditations. It's a feeling of clarity, a feeling of emptiness and awareness, a realization of space. I feel like I am everywhere and nowhere. I experience my body and its place in the world differently than before. I'm going to continue pursuing this meditation and seeing where it takes me as I feel it'll be useful for both the internal work I'm doing and some of my experiments.

Book Review: Healing with Form, Energy and Light by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

This is a fascinating book which explores the elemental principles of spiritual work done in Dzogchen and Tibetan Shamanism. The author shares how to work with elements and provides practical exercises that can be done by the reader, provided s/he is willing to put the time and effort in. I like this book because I feel that it provides further insight into Tibetan spiritual practices and how they work, as well as how they can be integrated into your practice. The author does an excellent job of explaining the concepts and practices. If you are interested in Tibetan spiritual practices, read this book, as well as the other books by the author.