From Germany, Devapath Peters MD is, in addition to being a medical doctor, a therapist in the areas of breath and primal therapy, the art of intimate relating, and dynamic leadership. He conducts workshops throughout the world and is currently working on a book about personal transformation and on a CD series of breath-related active meditations.
To me, Dynamic provides a transformation of sport. I'm talking about sport in the good sense – like samurais fighting with each other, which was about playfulness, without competition.
Dynamic Meditation is a modern transformaton of sport because not only do body and mind come together – it creates a bridge between the body and mind again – but Dynamic also works on our conditioning concerning competition.
It's a very physical activity that you basically do for yourself, so there is nobody to compete with. Any conditioned program you might have taken on – that you want to do it very well, or you sabotage it because you fight with your own energies – becomes very visible in Dynamic.
What is the difference between how Dynamic Meditation, and an activity like jogging, impact us?
Although in jogging you can watch your mind, what is missing – especially in the beginning – is the emotional element and the opening to feeling, in general.
The younger generation of tennis players sigh now more loudly on court, but generally it is not acceptable to release emotions. Jogging releases some emotional energy but it doesn't connect you deeply with emotions and their release. That can help you to get rid of some anger, at least, but more often it is used to repress and control than to transform emotions and reconnect to the art of feeling.
We can talk about sport, therapy and meditation in terms of how they impact the character layers of a person.
Unlike in common sports, including jogging, in Dynamic Meditation you are penetrating and going beyond the personality layers.
This dimension came into focus in the West with W. Reich when he discovered the layers of energy in our personality. Sports only touch the very outer layer. Therapy goes a little deeper but still remains on the periphery, confined to the personality. Classical meditation touches the inner layer. The most superficial layer, what Perls calls the chickenshit layer, is the layer of social rules, and behind that is the layer of social behavior. Both are very superficial levels of living. Sports usually moves on these layers.
Revolutionary therapy, starting with Reich, looked more at the next layer: the layer of all the forbidden stuff, of forbidden expression. Reich called it the layer of destruction, catharsis or negativity.
After this layer comes what therapy sometimes reaches: the layer of life energy, of orgasmic energy, where you are reconnected to the juice of life. Then comes a layer that Freud mentioned but neglected later on: the layer of death. Therapy stops usually before. But meditation advances to the layer of death and comes to the core, the essence or buddha quality, or whatever you want to call it.
More advanced therapy talks about the "core layer" in their model, but in meditation it becomes clearer that there are deeper layers beyond what therapists often see as the core. They get stuck in the identification with the body-mind while meditation moves even beyond that.
The outer personality layer carrying the "chicken shit" is only possible to keep up by repressed shallow breathing. You need the breath as flat as possible in order to be able to repress feelings; without holding the breath there can be no repression. The moment you break the social contract of holding your breath, you are encountering this social level. You start moving out of it and towards reconnecting to your hidden inner world...hidden in the unconsciousness.
In the first stage of Dynamic, having charged yourself up, you break out of the social layer and move, in the second stage, into the cathartic layer. You freak out – releasing whatever you have repressed – for ten minutes.
Then you come to the third stage, jumping: opening your sex center, which is reconnecting with life energy...what therapy calls the core layer and which, in the meditative view, is just half way.
Then suddenly the "Stop" stage comes, the silence. What happens at this point? You die...you die to your, body, to your mind, and to your emotions. You hit the layer of death and sometimes get a glimpse beyond it.
After going through the layer of death, you enter the buddha state of celebration.
What do you feel is the significance of the "fire breathing" done in the first stage – the forceful exhalation?
The significance of the fire of deep, fast, chaotic breathing lies in its effect on the body, mind and emotions. It's a kind of "soul cleaning." You energize the body tremendously, confuse conditioned rigid mental pattern and open for emotional release. Your soul can breath again!
It is an anti-acidic treatment. Acidity is first of all on the bodily level. We carry too much acid in the body because we retain too much carbon dioxide there. Ordinarily, the body works hard to neutralize it but it gets exhausted. If you store this in your lungs or tissue it makes you sour emotionally. Permanent emotional tension keeps your muscles in a chronically contracted state. You don't need bodybuilding any more; the chronic tension builds up your muscles!
You need more oxygen for your muscles to work but you hold your breath; you abuse your energy resources, produce more waste – which stays in your body – and you are even more exhausted and finally burn out.
We don't circulate our breathing in our lungs very well, so a lot of old air gets stuck in there.
In Dynamic you empty your lungs to the max. You have to breathe deep in and even deeper out. You empty the big reservoir of stuck air in your lungs that you don't use much usually because you are stuck in shallow breathing. When you tap into it you draw out whatever poisons are there.
So, to me, the fire breathing is anti-acidic on the physical and anti-anger on the psychological level. We are so "sour," so angry, today because we have stored too much acidity in our bodies thanks to our repressive conditioning.
From the aspect of polarities.... The breath is like a circle, yin-yang in Chinese medicine. In fear you breathe in, in relaxation you breathe out. A repressed society, which is built on fear and tension, tends to breathe chronically more in and to hold the breath in. It's the male side of the breathing. It's the side of action; you need to breathe in to get ready for action. Fear is of the female side. This is the out breath, and this is the side of letting go, relaxation and trust.
You can see that a society that supports the inbreath is very male-oriented and condemns the female side. Or you can see that if, in a certain society, the female is condemned, that society will always condemn the out breath and its related qualities too.
In the first stage, if you focus on the out breath, you are giving the power back to the female side. You have to go to an exaggerated degree to the female side in order to return to the natural state of balance between the out and the inbreath. On a deep psychological level, male means life – the inbreath – and female, the outbreath, means death. Our latent fear is reflected in our fear of exhaling deeply.
Another way of putting it: Osho talks of the inbreath as analogous with aloneness; the outbreath, with love. So just by looking at its members' breathing you can make a social profile of a society. Just by observing the breath of people, you can see if they live a life rooted in love or fear. Just by watching your breath you can become aware of your own state of living!
In the second stage, there is emotional cleaning. This means the muscles can release old tension. The brain releases a lot of tension, probably opening new pathways between the different parts of our brain that have been blocked by emotions since the days of our childhood and have blocked the development of a more profound intelligence. The circulatory system starts relaxing again. We move from a close encounter with deadly heart attack towards the joy of a love attack.
Whatever you bring to a peak of activity can relax afterwards to a much deeper degree. And don't forget, the deepest relaxation is meditation.
For some people the third stage of Dynamic – jumping up and down and shouting "Hoo" for fifteen minutes – is really a major challenge. What do you observe is happening in this phase?
Originally in Osho's "meditation camps," the third stage was of the deepest breathing, allowing the body to move and asking yourself the question, "Who am I?"...hammering that on your consciousness. You can still feel the echo of this earlier version of Dynamic meditation when doing the third stage.
The outstretched stance – arms raised high above the head while you are shouting of "Hoo" – seems to open the diaphragm. Jumping with your arms lifted up is something you have done as a child: lifting up your arms you are lifting up your energy. You can imagine the arms are lifting you up. A child loves doing that – stretching out the arms.
If, on the other hand, you allow your arms to be down, you continue to keep the control in your shoulders and neck and keep your ribs in a closed position. When you open up, the ribs open, the diaphragm gets stretched and you use muscles that are usually contracted in the back.
Also, when you open your diaphragm...it's like the vibration of the cover of a drum. The vibration of sound and breathing impacts the diaphragms of the pelvic floor, the breathing diaphragm, the top of the lung, the muscular floor of your mouth, and then the entire bone structure of your head, including the base of your brain. In the jumping, all the layers vibrate; you are hitting the "drum" with the "Hoo." This vibration cleanses you on a physical level, energizes the nervous system and allows hidden energies to rise.
Dynamic Meditation creates a psychosomatic awareness: you feel your body. You get a different connection to your bodymind, because – this is the natural consequence of it – you feel yourself again. In feeling yourself you start loving yourself again. In love with life, a new freedom is waiting for you!
In the contact with the outer world we use most of our energy through our eyes. So it make sense to close them when we are moving inside – as, for example, throughout Dynamic – so that our total energy becomes available to move in that direction. Do you see any other significance in keeping our eyes closed, even blindfolded, as Osho suggests?
Closing your eyes connects you to your female capacities. This is mentioned in The Secret of Secrets by Osho.
The male energy moves through the eyes, the female through the ears. The eyes are more aggressive and the ears can only be receptive...which is a total challenge to your brain, because you open different pathways when you are blocking out your vision and focus on listening.
It may be that the eyes are connected to the logical brain, while hearing is connected to the intuitive side. If that is so, closing the eyes during Dynamic would be a help in creating a new bridge between both hemispheres. And a further integration of our both brain hemispheres could bring a revolution in our life.
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