When Meditation Makes You Stop Breathing

I have already seen it mentioned on EP that meditation can result in the cessation of the breath. It is the natural result of the relaxation needed to experience That Beingness Within, and when breath is stopped through the practice of Kriya it has nothing to do with leaving the body and not coming back to it.

When I first started experiencing the cessation of breath I was reminded of having read in the Bhagavad Gita about the incoming breath going into the outgoing breath and vice versa -- a perfect description of the sensation I was feeling. But I thought that surely it only FELT that I wasn’t breathing, even though I understood that an object of Kriya is to oxygenate the blood so that breathing becomes unnecessary and stops naturally.

Later I found myself in the hospital hooked up to monitors that measure, among other things, the breath rate, and after I entered that state where it seemed that I wasn’t breathing I sensed someone entering the room and opened my eyes, at the same time realizing that the monitor was beeping. The nurse was coming toward my bed and, seeing me open my eyes, he reached up and unplugged the machine.

That made me more curious, so the next time I was in the hospital I did it as an experiment, this time watching the monitor indicate that there was no breath. My daughter, on seeing what had happened, chided me severely, and I have so far found no reason to experiment further along those lines.

There is no end to the ways in which we are taught.
nelladell nelladell
70+, F
11 Responses May 30, 2012

I wonder what the heart and breathing rate is for the monks and buddhists that practice daily ?

Do you suppose there are lots of variables, even there, in type of meditation and in proficiency?

It does seem reasonable to think that one who is good at a meditation like Kriya, in which the blood is oxygenated and the carbon burned out regularly, should have a slower heart rate when active and in normal consciousness, doesn't it!

Thanks for the thinking point, Dallas.

When meditation has flowered one will have insights and clarity. Knowing happens but not knowledge

Thanks, Sinathamby, for this reminder.

Thanks for sharing this information! I'm curious--can you please tell me where, or from whom you are learning Kriya? Is it from the SRF? I've always been interested and have read Yogananda's books, but also heard that SRF has been "watered down" and one must look elsewhere for authentic Kriya teachings. Thanks!

I'm sorry that I failed to see this sooner. Yes, I received it from SRF. It was some years ago. I have had no reason to check into how it is taught now, but I can certainly vouch for the spirituality of the leadership now, and about the inner guidance received through that connection. This is big as far as I am concerned.

I have followed, for years, the actions of folks who have tried to denigrate SRF, but facts on the ground have caused me to give them no credence.

You did not ask my advice, but it would be this: It used to be that the cost was barely enough to cover mailing the weekly "lessons" to get one started, so I have reason to hope that the cost is still relatively insignificant. If I were serious about getting the very best training and support today I would try it for a year and then make my judgement according to the results received.

I wish you fullness of Joy.

@om2013. I'm sorry if I've given anyone the impression that meditation is a goal, or that cessation of breath is the final goal. Thanks for making your point.

dont be sorry,
was just adding up :)

nice experience,
but this cessation of breath will only lead to temporary solution for the problem "mind", this meditation is undoubtedly required but controlling mind and eradicating ego while consciously working with the mind is the aim, this meditation is only the tool not the goal.
keep going :) best of luck

Dangerous trials, I agree with your daughter, LoL.

Also, I guess, from a yogic perspective, an explicit intervention into a breathing process may not be as advisable ? I would think, mind and thought are the keys, more important than the breath. If their sublimation or cessation is pursued, breath will be handled automatically. Also, these may require an extraordinary level of purity of the heart, or else they may backfire into serious health issues.

Of course, this is only my "theoretical" understanding. I ain't into advanced stuff. But I have noticed, breath has something definite to do with thought. The moment we try to subside our thoughts, or pause to observe between two thoughts, the first thing that we observe, without effort, is the breath. 'So-Ham' or the Hamsa Gayathri is supposed to reflect our natural breathing.

Thanks much, thought bubble, for your observations. I\'m not aware of any dangers with being disturbed. My daughter\'s concern was that I was not being respectful of the hospital.

That said, I see breathlessness as simply a conscious, natural, and deeper state of relaxation than sleep. Kriya teaching is that the practice of Kriya oxygenates the blood so that the breath stops, allowing increased concentration within. This deeper concentration allows one, more and more, to identify with That Glory within.

I have often heard that the breath ties one to the body, therefore to identification with the body, rather than with identification with That Within. In fact, the story is that a man, evidently already somewhat advanced in meditation, asked Yogananda, at their first meeting, if Yogananda could teach him to be breathless. The answer was, it seems, more certain than it sounds: \"I think so.\" The student was, reportedly, very happy with the results.

You might have noticed when you concentrate deeply on a problem that the breath slows.

Thanks again. I wish you joy.

Hmm.. yes, good insights.

Kryia I believe was taught by Paramahansa Yogananda.

You\'re right. He was sent to build the organization that is spreading it in the west. Thanks again.

Your daughter understandly,was concerned about you.But as you say there are many ways to learn and they reveal themselves to us when we are ready.

Thanks, dear Berangere.

Thats happened to me a lot. It freaks me out sometimes to the point where i am not mindful. I did not know it was normal until now. thanks!

enjoy. even better things follow.

yes they will:)

i am looking forward to reach that state.........


thanks for your kindness.