What is Archetypal Breathwork?
We live in a field of archetypal influences which impact our perspectives, hopes, fears, and dreams. One moment we can be influenced by an inner child. In other times, the magician, wise old woman, wise old man, inner child, masculine and feminine archetypes are prompting responses without our being consciously aware. We also have child parts and rebellious energies related to experiences from our childhoods. We live in a vast sea of impelling archetypal, psychological, and spiritual energies. The “High Self” is always present – ready to lead us to healing, wholeness, and spiritual receptivity. Life can be a healing adventure that enables us to discover more of who we truly are. It is a journey of integrating power, beauty, innocence, and wisdom. And, Archetypal Breathwork opens doors of awareness, healing, and assimilation.
This is an opportunity to engage in a process of very deep breathwork within a therapeutic setting. It opens the door to psychological, transpersonal, and shamanic states of consciousness. Entering an altered state of consciousness facilitates both healing and personal evolution; the breathing process can reveal psychospiritual issues that need addressing. Chakras are energized -- thus heightening spiritual awareness. This deep breathwork process can facilitate understanding, integrating, and resolving old patterns and, at the same time, one can experience deep spiritual support from within as well as the sacred space created by facilitator and group.
All of Lotus Center’s Archetypal Breathwork sessions are facilitated by Sharon Mijares. Attendees ( a.k.a., “breathers”) lie down on a thick pad (such as a camping mattress pad; a yoga mat isn’t thick enough to assure two hours of comfort) while the facilitator, Sharon, ensures that journeyers are physically safe and supported during the session.
The attendee begins with setting an intention and engaging in a few exercises to loosen somatic energy and open channels for non-ordinary sounds. The instructions for the breather are to inhale and exhale deeply and quickly in a rhythmic manner.
Breathers wear eye shades to both shut out light and to enable one to go deeper within. The practice will bring on an expanded, expansive state of consciousness, akin to a vivid dream; the breather is encouraged to trust the wisdom of whichever visions or insights emerge. It is the deep breathing that opens the door to such experiences.
Breathers may find themselves spontaneously making movements or sounds; all of these responses are accepted, as they can move us beyond our ordinary conditioning. Who is it within us that is making the movement or sounds? This trance-like experience is supported by provocative music, carefully arranged to encourage a variety of psychological, spiritual, and shamanic states.
The breathwork part of the session generally lasts two hours; with beginning and ending processes, the entire workshop can last up to three hours. Sharon, as facilitator, is present throughout the session in order to explain the method, create the safe setting, support the process, and work with people if they experience any difficulty. Larger groups are facilitated in longer sessions.
- A thick (2+ inches) pad to lie on.
- Blanket as body temperature can fluctuate in deep trance states
- Pillow for head comfort
- Eye Shades
- Bottled Water
- Journal (good to make some notes following the section)
NOTE: Breathers are asked to bring their own pad, blanket, and pillow.
Fact and Fiction: The Deeper Meaning of Archetypal Breathwork
There are many reasons for participating in this deepening process. The desire may be to heal old, dysfunctional patterns and to deepen one’s self awareness. Many participants want to open the doors to spiritual realization. First, one should remember that the experience varies greatly from person to person and, also, that the breather could access more than one state of consciousness within one session. We also have to make room for the different personalities and archetypal forces within us.
In an Archetypal Breathwork workshop, people can experience a place of deep safety and profound trust, often for the first time. As a workshop participant, you can:
- Learn that the enormous spiritual treasures of the cosmos are available within each of us;
- Trust your own “inner healer;”
- Become more familiar with various archetypal forces in your personal and collective fields;
- Take time out from ordinary life to give attention to deeper concerns and dreams;
- Bear witness to your own suffering and the suffering of others (allowing and being with your own and your neighbors’ experience);
- Support, and be supported through a dramatic process of unfolding;
- Recognize you are more than the “you” that is generally experienced in an ordinary, “fully-conscious” state;
- Enhance your compassion toward yourself and others;
- Empathize with everything in the universe as being part of yourself, and that those around us, too, are a part of everything, and;
- Trust the deep wisdom of your subconscious mind – becoming open to the gifts of the universe.
Indeed, Archetypal Breathwork is about much more than achieving an altered state of consciousness. It represents a path to greater human evolution and development.
In many places, Archetypal Breathwork is both a spiritual and therapeutic process; workshops typically attract people who are looking, primarily, to expand their awareness. However, whether the desired benefits of an Archetypal Breathwork session are spiritual or therapeutic (or a combination of both), at a fundamental level, you can have a glimpse of a larger reality . . . a reality to which you are beautifully and inextricably linked. All you have to do is to continue the deep breathing.
Following the breathwork, each participant will receive a traditional shamanic cleansing ritual using rose water, breath, and a chakapa. It is a great way to end over two hours of deep, experiential processing.
It is recommended that breathers pre-purchase some Epson salts so that after the session you can return home and soak in a hot Epson salt bath. This clears any toxins that have been released during the breathwork.