There is a growing interest today in the relationship of breathing to health and spiritual development. Unfortunately, few people who experiment with their breath understand the importance of “natural breathing.” This is the kind of spontaneous, whole-body breathing that one can observe in an infant or a young child. Instead of trying to learn to breathe naturally, many people impose complicated breathing techniques on top of their already bad breathing habits. These habits are not in harmony with the psychological and physiological laws of the mind and body. They are not in harmony with the Tao.
Natural breathing is an integral part of the Tao. For thousands of years Taoist masters have taught natural breathing to their students through chi kung, tai chi, and various other meditative and healing arts and sciences. Through natural breathing we are able to support our overall health. We are able to improve the functioning and efficiency of our heart, lungs, and other internal organs and systems. We are able to help balance our emotions. We are able to transform our stress and negativity into the energy that we can use for self-healing and self-development. And we are better able to extract and absorb the energy we need for spiritual growth and independence.
Many books on breathing have been published over the past several years. None of them, however, has gone as deeply into the meaning, practice, and benefits of natural breathing as this important new work by Dennis Lewis. Based on his own long study and research in various traditions and disciplines, including the Healing Tao, Lewis brings together in one book the psychosomatic vision, the scientific knowledge, and the vital practices that can help us discover the power of natural breathing to rejuvenate and transform our lives.
The Tao of Natural Breathing makes a big contribution to our understanding of how the way we breathe influences our lives. Whatever their level of experience, readers will gain new insights into their own specific breathing habits and how these habits often undermine their health and well-being. They will understand that natural, authentic breathing depends less on learning new breathing techniques than it does on what Lewis calls the “reeducation” of our inner perception. This reeducation, which involves learning how to sense the inner structures and energies of the mind and body, lies at the heart of the Taoist approach to healing and spiritual development.
Master Mantak Chia
The International Healing Tao
Chiang Mai Thailand