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How well do you think you breathe?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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We noticed that Tom Seitas, when doing his 9:24 at Worlds, started a slight exhale at about 7:15, probably lessening the CO2 pressure with little O2 loss due to the late stage of his static. So either he was very present to do so, or he was so gone that his body was acting naturally. However, since his teammates were cajoling him to finish up ao they could all go have coffee, and Tom answered by waving his fingers around, I think the latter possibility is out!
As for pursuing yoga and meditation for improving performance, a wondrous danger awaits. Once you begin to understand yourself and your connection to the "all," and you achieve those amazing powers, competition will be seen as meaningless. The TRUTH will hold you fast in all its glory!

Swim fast! Andy

I had the following unverifyable experience once.

I was sitting on a beach chanting 'Om' on a windy july day. My eyes crossed by themselves and the sky seemed to arrange itself into a mandala made of blue sky, clouds and water. I felt drawn increasingly into the center of the mandala. The 'Om' sound seemed to have tremendous power and continued long after I ran out of air. There was a tremendous sense of inflowing/outgoing in the center of the chest - as though I ws being 'breathed' there as a kind of continual exchange of radiant energy with no in-out breath. The Om sound seemed to be in my spine and when I closed my eyes I felt a tremendous upward rush. I stopped this experience and stood up - noting an accordian effect as I seemed to sort of shoot up out of my body and rebound back in. For some time afterward I had to be careful to keep my focus close to my body or it would begin to sag toward the ground as I felt myself moving toward whatever I was visually focused on and wanting to move toward. I ws told by independant third party witness that my shirt was pulsating and I was unable to speak below a yell for half an hour or so.

The respiration aspect of this experience was interesting. I did not feel I was breathing in any conventional sense. I'd venture to say such practice is of no use for freediving however as body consciousness was somewhat attenuated which could have ostensibly disasterous results.
Increddible experience Fondueset!

Maybe you've just flipped a valve that let out all the pain and disorders you've collected for years?
Did you feel relieved? clean, light?

Overamped mostly

Like I'd run a few too many watts through the organism. And paranoid. At that point I wasn't quite ready to punch on through so I was stuck in that shaky transonic range. Understandable since I was a mere 21 at the time...
What a thread

Just read through this whole thing again. My sense of 'having things happen' - when it's been most effective - has been a light touch - a 'whim' as it were - I like castaneda's term 'controlled abandon'. A state wherein you've effectively allready given up.

Here's a sort of experimental template. A long time ago I went to Jamaica. It was a strange place to me - I'd never been out of the country before - and I really didn't much like it. Everyone wanted me to buy drugs.

The first time I slipped into the ocean though - I felt home. The ocean felt like my friend and all the machinations of people meant nothing. On that first freedive/snorkeling run I had a strange feeling near where I entered the water. Like fear or something. Oddly it seemed localized and dissipated as I moved out from the area. I turned and swam back and there I saw a dog, suspended head-down - it's neck wired to a cinder block. Bad, but good to have an answer.

I went on over the next few days and did alot of freediving, probably setting a few personal bests since it was my basic policy to go down to the bottom - regardless. I covered a great deal of water and it was just beautiful. I remember hovering at an intermediate depth and thinking how geared my vision was to distance - I consciously shifted my focus to close, turned and so the most beautiful small translucent lavender jellyfish - pulsating languidly less than a meter in front of me.

I was leaving the next day and returned to shore to pack my things only to find my wallet was missing. I must have lost it diving and I was furious. I inwardly cursed the whole place and in a miserable and violent stayed went back into the ocean, covering every inch I'd dived at a furious pace. When I got out - of course without finding my wallet - I realized that I'd abused what I felt was a sacred relationship with the sea. I felt very fortunate that no harm befell me. (all the while part of my mind is just slamming this kind of thinking) I had a moment - which still happens to me from time to time - wherein I saw the entire inner situation as one thing - not a scatter of concerns, emotions, strategies and dillemas - but sort of a complete global unit of feeling awareness - with that I was free of it and resolved to take some time - then reenter the ocean to continue the search. The position that articulated itself to me at that time (and, again, part of my min just thought this was silly) was that the ocean would either give me my wallet or it would not. That if I was to have my wallet back I should listen and let the sea give it to me.
At the time I was completely prepared for the possibility that I might not get it back.

So, back in I went and, allmost immediately, saw a needlefish suspended in the water at an angle - like an arrow. I swam up behind it and followed it's trajectory about five meters down to the bottom.

I find that some insights come with a major 'victory' and most with a mojor 'loss'.
I think some emptynes from time to time may help you a lot to find a better balance. If you live in the city, Nature can be a great release valve for the build-up tensions.

Thanks for the nice story!

I read an interview with one of the professors for eastern culture and philosophy in Tel-Aviv university.

He spent a few years in some monastery in the north of Japan practicing zen.
He said that the older monks used to take them out of the monastery for excursions every now and then.
About once a month, the oldest monk would take all the young monks to a walk in the town, and secretly go visit the local pub to have a drink.
Once he asked the old monk: "how does that fit with the spiritual life of zen?"
And the old monk said: "Even fish can't live in absolutely clear water."

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I'm really fortunate to live up here. Some days the air is simply outrageous. I sometimes take photographs of the sky - just because I can't believe it.
When I finally get a UW camera I'm sure people will wonder what the deal is with the pictures of rays of light, rocks, thermalclines etc. But all these things are like a hidden language - hidden in that it's too obvious for the mind to grasp.

The other day I was at Lake Michigan with my kids. Late in the day I sat and did a little Kapalabhati. The sky was crystal clear but for an expanding contrail that bisected the sun like a perfect brush-stroke - tapering eloquently into nothing at each end. Above it - just in front of the sun and nowehere else, but having no effect on it's intensity - were some very fine, high clouds showing wave-like patterns (altocumulus)- like those found in the shallow sand near shore. Small waves broke along the shore continuously; making an interesting sort of layered doppler-effect. Behind me I could hear my little boy playing quietly - just enough that I didn't have to look to make sure where he was. A steady wind slipped raspily through the sword grass while behind and above that the poplars rustled and shimmered. Yet again above and behind that was the hushed, intimate and steady whispering of cedars high along the bluff.

There is a symmetry in such moments - when the senses merge and balance - like the frame of a window.
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Definition of Fondueset:

Implement where life finds it's harmony.

Every household should have one. ;-)

It's really enjoyable reading your posts.

Absolutely a pleasure to read your posts Fdst.
Erik Y.
Wonderful thread, how did I only see it until now?

Yesterday, I was sitting on the can, which is where I have all my good ideas, when suddenly the floor, dappled in terazzo style, shimmered and swayed. I stared at it and suddenly my eyes started to lose focus on their own as I began to stare THROUGH the floor. Then, suddenly, the floor began to undulate, swell and fall in a collection of wavelets. I remained there for 10 minutes just watching this display of unreality/reality.

Was it an optical trick caused by the pattern of the floor or was it the call for help from pieces of rock trapped in the floor of an old building built in the 1950s, longing for the days when it was on an ancient beach and the waters of the ocean covered it in a wash of delicious salty life?

Vancouver, BC
Originally posted by laminar
Was it an optical trick caused by the pattern of the floor or was it the call for help from pieces of rock trapped in the floor of an old building built in the 1950s, longing for the days when it was on an ancient beach and the waters of the ocean covered it in a wash of delicious salty life?
Hmm, depends, does your floor looks like this:
(I hope I'm not the only one seeing this swaying...:))
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I agree, paris is a beautiful city. But it certainly seems an odd choice for bathroom tile. Amazing picture - I'd swear that woman in the black dress is winking at me. - and is that a duck?....:king
Back to the mind / body- levitation stuff

Very interesting thread! I'm interested in the role the mind plays in better freediving as I'm also a fan of the mind/body approach to freediving.

The levitation aspect stirred a thought for me. I may have missed it somewhere but has anyone addressed the concept of self induced "out of body" experience as being the reality of physical levitation?

When I was a pre-teen in school I found myself completely bored with the lectures of some of my teachers. I would stare intently at the back of the head of the student sitting in front of me, let my eyes de-focus, and tune out the sound of the room noises and the teachers voice. This would probably be why I suck at geography, punctuation, spelling, and history. Anyway soon after I started doing this (I did it a bunch) I started having what can best be described as "out of body experience". They would start with a feeling of lightness in my upper body (sort of like the spine/ gravity thing mentioned in previous posts). Then I would sense and see myself floating upwards away from my body that was still sitting in the desk. After a semester of practice I could do it at will. I was never able to see anything other than myself and the student in the desk below but the sensation of being weightless was always an aspect of the experience.

My teachers and classmates must have started noticing something because I stopped doing it and lost interest in it. years later as an older teen I tried to re-create the experiences and could not. I could get to the feeling of weightlessness part but not the "lift off" part.

Anyway I wonder if this form of meditation may actually be the "levitation" that you are trying to understand. I think it may be possible for humans to physically levitate but the out of body meditation version seems much more attainable for humans.

Have any thoughts on "out of body" and how it might relate to freediving or levitation?
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I practiced Zazen (Zen meditation) for a certain period of time before I was into spearfishing and freediving. I have some idea about the extent it helps one concentrate. Try playing chess, Go, or a similar game after a half-an-hour meditation. You will see that it alters your state of consciousness to a higher level.

This minor experiences can give you an idea of what can be achieved after years of practice, a point where achievement, success, minutes and all that stuff loses meaning.

This is East vs. West, I agree with that. I live in Istanbul, just in the middle of it. Although I have a Western mind, I can sense the spontaneity and goallessness hidden in these practices. Once you clear your mind of all your goals, apnea minutes and all other "distractors", you will find that you can keep concentrated much longer. This is what lies beneath the idea of Zen. It is the road, not the destination.

Sorry for so much philosophy. I want to say that one should not downplay the importance of these Martial practices. Instead of prejudice, just try to practice it. Its benefits cannot be overestimated.

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I don't believe that b.s. about people practicing yoga being able to go longer than trained athletes without breathing.
Hi Laminar
Maybe you should stay of the Acid for a while .
I used to have the Dolphin in a picture on the wall start talking to me.
Its all good fun

Hey John C. you don't have to believe anything. IMHO believing in things is dogmatic.
Just experience them. It can work for you or not. For me, apnea is 80% mental 20% physical.
This is based in my experience. And Yoga helps a lot into this 80% mental component.
You can believe or not, but of course.. I don't care :)