Breathing into pain & breathing into the hara

Tiny Meditations

While Tao spoke on Swaram’s Love Osho podcast recently, she shared a meditation that sounds very intriguing, in particular as it addresses pain. We asked her to elaborate.


When I was 13, I had an operation (an ovarian cyst removed and also my appendix on the other side was taken out) and recovery took well over a month at home. Not long after coming home I was in bed in extreme anguish and I asked my mother to get more painkillers for me as we had run out. She came back saying the doctor said I’ve had enough and I was left to deal with it. At one point I said to myself, I either have to find a way through this or I’m jumping out of the window. (Note: My bedroom was on the ground floor but it makes the point in a nice Leo-dramatic way.) It was a very difficult and pivotal moment for me as I was literally wanting out of my body.

Then I noticed for a split mini-second that there was a gap in the pain. Prior there was simply a wall of pain. And I caught that gap! I started looking, waiting for that gap to come again. And it came. And I experienced it.

So this was an energy shift. Of course, I knew nothing about that then. But rather than focusing on the pain and tightening up against it, I was now waiting for the gap. I noticed that it wasn’t actually a wall of what seemed constant pain, but rather waves of pain that came and went.

And something inside relaxed. And so it went until the gaps between waves of pain became longer and longer and longer and I melted into them and the next thing I knew, I fell asleep.

When I awoke, the pain was gone.

So that’s the story of how it began. The good thing, apart from this discovery itself, which only surfaced again later in my life, was that I was focusing in my belly. And that is a huge clue. Deep within the belly houses the connection to spirit or, put another way, is the medium, the pathway to reconnecting to oneness. You can just do that. Imagine a deep empty quiet place in the belly below the navel and gently breathe to and from it, letting the mind focus on the breath coming in and out and it will take you home to an expanded yet still, peaceful place.

This meditation takes you to a meditative place, brings you home, and can be used simply for that or for any kind of pain, physical, mental, emotional. I pass it on to my clients as a tool, an unbelievably simple tool that is easy to disregard because of its simplicity; however, it is incredibly powerful in its effectiveness. And especially valuable for times of separation (from self), you name it, it’s the same process. A good way to slip out of patterns.

Here is what Tao calls a simple tool that brings you back into yourself, to alignment, to a state of meditation. Works very well for physical, emotional and mental pain:

– There is an immediate tendency, when there is pain of any kind, to resist it, to try and get away from it or to make it go away and so you distance yourself from yourself.

– Pain is actually a cry for your love and attention, for your help in order to heal it, so resisting only makes it linger and makes it worse, as the pain has to cry out louder.

– With this method you gently breathe into where the pain in your body is located, into the most intense part of the discomfort. If there is mental distress it will be felt somewhere in the body and it’s with the body that we work.

– Gently breathe into that point of intensity. You are simply wanting to connect your breath to that place. And it may be simply a feeling of tightness or heaviness you’re dealing with. As you breathe out, you’re imaging a gentle breath still going to that point of discomfort. You’re not making any demands that it shifts or changes in any way. You are simply sending your loving breath there.

– Your mind is given the job of watching the breath connect. To me this is truly self-loving on a visceral level as you are compassionately addressing the pain and discomfort within you, with loving energy at that moment and not abandoning yourself.

– When I’ve used this with my clients who have little to no previous metaphysical or therapeutic experience, they may just say that they have a heaviness in their stomach as they point to the solar plexus, and after a very short while using this breath method, they report that it has diminished or has gone.

–  Using the same principle if you can’t fall asleep at night because your mind is so active, or in daytime panic or stressful situations this works so well. Imagine that invisible yet palpable place deep within the belly behind the navel, that empty, white, peaceful place, also called the hara, the kath, the core, and begin to send your loving breath into it, breathing in and breathing out. Focus your mind on the in breath and exhale and very soon you will begin to deliciously drift, slip out of the mind, reconnect and fall asleep.

Prem Tao TNCanadian-born Prem Tao has been living on Hawaii Island for 33 years (as of January 6, 2019). She took sannyas in Pune in 1977 and lived for years in Osho’s communes. Existence catapulted her into the psychological and spiritual depths of life, yet honoring her early dream to be a professional French Horn player; she regularly plays in an orchestra. She is a reverend and conducts unique tailor-made wedding ceremonies, enjoys writing, teaching and performing, sharing the amazing twists and turns, the humor, pathos, triumphs, magic and awakenings of life.

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