What to do, when you don’t know what to do

There are times when something must be done!
There are times when there is a way, but the way must be found.
Here is a list of things that can be done when you are looking to find clarity of mind/emotion/body.

  1. Breathe
  • The first and most fundamental decision one can make is to turn within and consciously connect with the breathing process.
  • The breathing process is related to the processing of content through the nervous system (mental, emotional, and sense data) – the more consciously we breath, the more resources our body has to process content, and the greater our capacity to be conscious of what is being processed.
  • When the natural processing of information has made its cycles through the system it will be integrated, felt, and the wisdom received – which offers guidance, clarity, and good decision making. Note: effective consciously connected breathing is one of the most effective ways to process information, and it is best learnt from a professional.
  • Good decision making comes when we are consciously connected to the various intelligences of the body. When I say various intelligences, I am making a commentary that every cell in your body gives and receives energy and intelligence (information), and specific areas of the body process and give access to varying amounts and different kinds of intelligence (example, the heart, the brain, and enteric or gut nervous system are major processing points). We only have access to these various intelligences when we are consciously connected to them, meaning we are conscious of them and are breathing awareness into them. Therefore, when one turns within and taps into the breathing process, they are connected with the larger intelligence of the system, which knows the way.
  1. Move
  • To most effectively tap into the internal wisdom of the body, movement is vital. But, it is not simply moving….people are moving all day, all the time. It is about intelligent movement. The intelligence of a movement or a movement practice depends on the consciousness of the individual. The more aware, connected, and integrated (between mind/body/emotion) an individual is, the greater intelligence of their movements.
  • To find out what movements are required depends upon a deep listening, or a tuning in to the body….then a conscious decision to shift one’s body and breath in many fashions to experiment with curiosity and then to find which is the right combination of movements to find harmony. It is a process of listening to the cellular intelligence, and allowing the movements to be guided from an internal allowing…it is a practice that develops into a second nature with regular recurrence.
  • Movements and their possible effects: Clearing energy, celebration, empowerment – Dance.

Stability, focus, control, devotion – Yoga.

Empowerment, drive, resilience – Martial Arts.

Self-healing, meditative, sensitivity – Qigong.

Relaxation, clarity of thought, creative thinking – Walking.

Linear processing, steadiness, absorption – Running.

Empowerment, protection, confidence – Weight lifting.

  1. Meditation
  • To meditate, is to become receptive…it is a deep listening.
  • Meditation is observation without analysis.
  • Pure witnessing.
  • When one becomes an effective observer they have a capacity to witness the mind/emotion/body, without getting caught in their processing flow…one then has access to observe the information from a different perspective
  • Meditation offers a sense of centering, and it requires we surrender to fully receive.
  1. Breath, move, meditate.
  • So then, we have 3 foundational practices which all help to turn the awareness within and help to process information (mental, emotional, and sense data), to tune into the wisdom of the body, and to fully surrender. These tools work best when practiced every day. They will offer a way through life of ease and direction, and it will be guided from the heart.
  • If your new to these practices or don’t feel your doing them effectively, I encourage you to reach out and learn these practices and receive their wisdom – your wisdom.

I offer 1-on-1 meditation, movement, and breathwork sessions that draw on wisdom from many cultures and traditions, and never have two sessions that are similar. Each visit is a deep dive into your subconscious mind which will help you process, integrate, and move forward with ease and grace.
I offer online and in-person.

Reach out today and let’s be connected.

A peculiar way to live – a life of surrender.

Are you into experiments?
I have been living an experiment for years.
I simply act.

The actions are conscious, and there is a level of decision making, but it comes from the intuition and not the mind. Many individual think, then act. I am living in a way that I act, then contemplate my actions (usually in the morning and evening in my meditations). This is different from unconscious action as it is intentional, but the decision is made in the body, not in the mind. It is also not unconscious because every morning and night I am considering my actions and their effects, but during the day hours, and during the act, I allow myself to truly be free and spontaneous.

I had assessed that my thinking process was often a control pattern, and I was always trying to make good decisions, or think about what the best option for any decision was, but there were always too many variables! And I was often tempted by my desire to do things that society said was wrong, so there was an inner conflict of not knowing what was right and denying my basic urges for pleasure, or experimentation. So I decided to just live in my body, and act without hesitation, to make decisions based on gut-instincts, and fearlessly make mistakes, and follow my desires, and sort it out later in my meditations.

Once more, there is a differentiation here between simply following desires and getting lost in momentary pleasures because my aim is in allowing myself to be free is to learn, to know, to grow, and to find my truth. By actually allowing myself to make all the dumb mistakes of chasing pleasure and doing any other ‘deviant’ behaviours, I could actually learn their effects on a cellular level. To simply avoid something you desire because you have been taught it is wrong is a lesser way to know, then to actually make the mistake and feel its consequences.

It has been rough, because when one allows themselves to act on their urges and impulses, they will truly see who they are. Much of human behavior is a control pattern to fit in, it is learned rules, and many actions and habits are ingrained because one thinks they need to do them, or they have been conditioned to live and act in that way. This includes what substances one takes, do they have one or multiple partners, exploring taboos, how one should make money, what one should do with their time, how one should dress, etc.

In the beginning of this process I had so much suppressed animal instinct to release, I had years of repression of things I wanted to say but did not, and I just let it out. Often times it had negative consequences, and through this constant devotion to doing what is truly coming up for me, I found an effective way for growth.

My control patterns had kept me in safety, but they did not keep me growing.

I assess that many individuals make decisions based on reason and look to the future in straight lines. In this way, individuals can plan for the future, they can assure they have security (at least a sense of it, true security is impossible), a home to live in, and what they need to grow a business or raise a family.

Truthfully, I do this too, but to a much lesser degree than most. My experiment is to learn to trust my intuition. I have followed my way, I have not done what is reasonable, I have not acted in straight lines, and I wake up each day and never know where I’m going. Now, there are individuals who live in this way, and nothing really happens in their life. My whole dance is to live in the balance of chaos and order, and dive as deeply into the unknown as possible, for that is where life truly happens, that is where growth happens.

Many can relate with this….have you ever been on a vacation or spent a weekend traveling to a new city with no plans? You just show up, with nothing but what’s in your bag, and an openness to experience. This experience can either lead you to a catastrophe or to an unexpected joy, and in retrospect, you will generally laugh and learn from both of them. In retrospect, you are much more likely to see those times as they are, and not judge yourself of whether you did things right or wrong. Many individuals live in a constant judgement of ‘am I doing things right or wrong?’. To live in the present, and to live with no true plans takes this constant pressure to live the right way away, you may then just show up and be.

This is my entire life now. Showing up and making decisions in the moment, never knowing where I‘ll end up. Never knowing what I’ll say or do next, and yet trusting there is a path and a way that is there for me to find. Many individuals think about what they say before they say it, or they think about what the other person will think before they say something. That is sooooo much extra work. The peculiar thing is, most individuals, even if they tried cannot simply speak authentically and freely because these patternings of control have become so ingrained that they no longer can simply speak without hesitation. This level of control and hesitation lives in the body, and it prevents the free flow of energy, which prevents the natural expression of your authenticity. This hesitation is found in the body, this judgement prevents people from dancing freely, this judgement lives in the sex centers, preventing people from having the sexual life they actually desire, it lives in the gut, preventing people from following their animal instincts, or in the heart, preventing people from doing what they love….instead they do things for money, or what society deems normal, or their family has passed on for them.

Can you see how an individual may become lost and unintegrated in their wholeness and their capacity to live their potential if they are distanced from their desires and instincts?

These control patterns are cages we lock ourselves into. And there is another way, a way to live fully present, in the moment, without hesitation.

This way that I speak of, it is the way of the artist, the mystic, and the vagabond. It is Zen. It is not the pathway of control, it is the pathway of surrender.

The first 2 years of never knowing if I’d have enough to afford rent and food was catastrophic for my psyche. Chronic stress in the body taught me to develop powerful practices to manage this constant onslaught of insecurity in my body. But, I’m not here to simply conquer this life, not this lifetime. I’m here to experience life fully, so I chose a path that does not allow me to know what will come next.

I have lived many lives, we all have, the evidence lives in every cell of your body. I have been a married man, I have been a success, I have been a failure. And in this lifetime, or at least at this point in my life, I am free.

Freedom is a peculiar jewel. For when you live without the same boundaries and bondage as others, it can put one at a distance. It can make one unrelatable at times. It’s not that it has to, two hearts can always meet in love if they are willing to rest in that abode. But, life has a certain flow, and when you don’t follow the rhythm of culture, there is a certain casting to the side that can happen.
And I have struggled, and been lonely, and lost. And I continue to come back to my loneliness and my being lost, and just like the insecurity of never knowing if one will have enough, one becomes use to sitting in the dark places of consciousness, so much so, that they can meet it with friendliness.

Am I reckless? There are shades of that there, yes. And yet, I have not ended up on the streets. I have found my dream career; I get to help others to open themselves into areas of their life they ever knew were possible. Life has guided me into moving to a home in the mountains, with a community of soul friends and family, and a
growing future.

It’s not all blue skies and yoga all the time for me, but once more, the dance I am dancing is not one of success or failure, it is one of following the intuitive guidance that is within me. I have thought ten-thousand things in the first decades of my life, now I am putting my mind at ease, doing what I please, and following the wisdom of the trees.

I say I thank you. I say I thank you, because you all hold the space for me to express and experience my freedom. I say I am sorry because I know have offended many in this life I have lived. I am learning, and I am learning quickly from the mistakes I have made.
My heart is in a good place, and if you know me, you will feel it.

My encouragement for you is to be mindful of your desires, your speech, the way you move, breath and act (okay, that’s a big a ask :P). But, if your willing, be mindful of whether you truly act in the moment, if you truly acting freely without hesitation, or if you are thinking before acting, or trying to be a certain way to appear in a certain light, or if you are speaking your mind, or if you can freely move your body without judgement. I am not suggesting you throw away your mind, or that you never try and cast yourself in a certain light, but there is always an opening for more freedom, for less hesitation, and to surrender judgement. The way of surrender does not always entail success -when success is measured by external standards- but it will reveal truth. It may not always be met with ease, but your consciousness will become more easeful and fearless through the process. This is the path of liberation, to allow yourself to be as you are, not as you think you should be, or how society deems you to act. It is a path, and the beginning is typically tumultuous, and the challenges come now and again, but it is such a beautiful journey, and one never knows where they will end up, or who they will become.

You may have to surrender your name, your job, how you speak and act, and you may surrender your financial security, and everything you have that you thought was you, and that you thought you needed. You may surrender it all and realize It was all an act, and you were a dream. You may surrender it all, and find that it was all a game, and you are much lighter without it weighing you down.
You never know, nor will it matter when you surrender the mind of judgement. Then all that is left is to be, and to be free.

Ps: living freely and fearlessly in the present has everything to do with the constant and uninterrupted flow of breath. Those who live with hesitation show pauses and hesitations in their breathing, and by changing the breathing and moving patterns, we can shift all areas of our lives. I could have focused more on this, but I always write about the breath, and this article was getting too long.

Message me if you have any questions on your breathing, and take this quote with you.

“Those Who Dance Are Considered Insane by Those Who Can’t Hear the Music”
Friedrich Nietzsche

  • Aya

Here’s how breathwork and the movement practices I teach can change your life and transform you.

  1. Your root/abundance/tribe/connection to earth
  • your capacity to feel safe, to be grounded, present in your body … especially in connection with your legs has to do with your breath energy expanding into your low belly/perineum/base of spine. This region contains your root chakra, coccygeal body (gland), adrenal glands, and other subtle systems that effect your stress, your level of ease, and the calmness of your mind. Because our perception is a reflection of our internal state, when one has a powerful tool to remain grounded in their body, in saftey, with a capacity to clear any blocked emotion and fear, then they can self-regulate through challenges.
  1. Your sacral center, which is related to your emotional expression, creativity, and sexuality.

Your sacral chakra is associated with your sacral nerve plexus, your sex organs, and your hips. When sexual energy is flowing properly through the system, you become charged with creativity and drive. When one learns to open up their hips and breath into this region, there is an increased capacity to release emotions through expression.

  1. Your solar center, which is related to your diet and exercise, your self-esteem, and your will.

When one has chronic gut issues and self-worth troubles, their gut will often tighten and become inflamed. When the solar center is off, individuals often see signs of gut inflammation, poor dietary patterns and control, and a lack of motivation for fitness. The systems of breathing and moving i teach help individuals to deepen their breathing into their solar plexus, which can bring to light the cause of their issues, perhaps their self-esteem issues. Or, many individuals have a disconnect from mind and body, this causes the intuition and intelligence of the body to be out of sync and causes an individual to not know what to eat. When the solar center becomes more conscious, individuals gain an intuitive intelligence of what the body requires for nourishment and exercises. And because breathwork works on the deep psyche, it is possible to rewire subconscious patterns of worth and relating to self in short order.

  1. The heart center/forgiveness/love/purpose.

The electromagnetic field generator of the heart broadcast our emotional states and helps to integrate the wisdom of the heart with the body and mind. Breathwork helps us to tune into the heart intelligence and allow it to guide actions and intentions and spread our feelings to others. Breathwork as a technique for release can clear deep traumas, help us forgive, and to expand our heart.

  1. The throat center/communication/expression

Do you ever feel that you hold your tongue? Many individuals work jobs or have developed patterns in their life of not speaking their truth, not expressing their emotions, or communicating their needs and desires. Being supported in breathwork allows one to be heard and seen, and allows an individual to fully express their emotions in a powerful way that it clears them from the system, creating a clarity and free flow of communication to arise naturally – so long as one is committed to speaking their truth.

So then, the teachings of breath have depth, to which I have only touched upon. They address mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual content.

The profound nature of the breathwork and movement practices i teach is deep, because it works on the subconscious and is capable of guiding conscious evolution.

There are several bold claims weaved into this writing, and I speak them with confidence because they have taken place in me and those I work with. I have not tried to prove these points through science. They are simply what is possible. What arises in a breath session is medicine from your own breath that will address what is most relevant to your current process. If you stick with the technique, eventually all areas and more will be addressed. The proof is in the practice. What is possible depends on what alchemy in you, and what your ready to release and invite into your life.

What are you looking to heal/feel/improve?
-abundance
-sexuality
-self-mastery
-fitness
-spiritual practice, yoga, meditation
-communication
-release emotions
-find clarity
-find creativity
-access altered states of consciousness

The medicine is in you. I’m just a humble guide on the way.

Leave a like or comment to help support if you found value here

With love,
Aya -ZK

For information on 1-on-1 sessions and coaching, and all my links to YouTube, podcasts, website, etc.

https://linktr.ee/Zkcoaching

breathwork #pranayama #holistic #yoga #meditation #spirituality #embodied #breath #tantra #consciousness #evolution #health #mastery #growth #tantra #qigong #squamish

On Being a Leader and Holding Sacred Ceremony

Ceremony is a universal phenomenon found in cultures around the world. In fact, most of the earliest archeological sites that date 12,000 years or more are thought to or known to be ceremonial sites of ritual.

Ceremony is a sacred thread in a community that connects the people with the cosmos.

I am writing this article because I wish to share the importance of good ceremony, which, in the current era and the society I live in, has fallen from grace. Ceremony is not alive among the masses, though its sacred thread lives on. Further, I also wish to share my knowledge of what it means to be a leader in a ceremonial container – this wisdom I have received from my elders, and my time holding sacred ceremonial containers. My name is Zachary Koop, and in ceremony I am called Aya. I hold sacred ceremony to teach the way of breath, yoga, movement, meditation, and plant medicine.

A basic position I have is that ceremony is integral to being the heart and guiding force of a community. To best explain what I mean, let me first give you a brief look into what ceremony is. There are many ceremonies and rituals, and the way in which ceremony flows is always going to be a unique co-creation of the humans involves and the land that the ceremony is held upon. However, there are some generalizable observations we can make about ceremony that cross cultures.

On Ceremony:
In ceremony, one aims to include the entire cosmos in a ritual drama.

Therefore, a ceremony leader, or those conducting the ritual will set the stage to open the awareness of the participants to the widest context of their lives. Which means invoking the 4 sacred directions that surround each universal center (the individual), and the two vertical dimensions above and below… below connects us to the earth mother, and the dimension above connects us to the great sky, or the celestial beings and heavenly realms. The dimensions above and below are not simply the areas above and below your body, but your body is a representation of the cosmos, and your lower body, and your lower energy centers are related to the physical realm, the earth, and connections you have to the earth and community; whereas the upper regions of your body, such as your brain, are connected to your higher mental body, and your neurons are numerous like stars in the sky.

Further, ceremony is about connection to the 4 sacred elements, earth, wind, water, and fire…these fundamental vibratory energies create our universe, our outer body (the world), and our inner body is made of these fundaments parts, and when our spirit passes from this body, the elements shall return. In ceremony, one connects, with nature…the land which one is on is the sacred ground of ritual, it is a part of the ceremony, as are all the life-forms that inhabit the land…this is why ceremony produces such brilliant art across cultures, it is the same creative intelligence that creates radiant peacocks, and dazzling fish that offers intelligence through humans to design the aesthetics of ceremony. Ceremony is about connection to time, wherein each individual has an opportunity to connect with their past self and selves, their future self, their ancestors, their children’s children, and the time-lines of all their community members.

Are you seeing the wide context for which ceremony is setting the stage for? The ordinary consciousness and the way we live our lives often creates a divine drama in which we are an isolated self, in a specific moment of time, and the ordinary doings of most people’s lives are not connected with the stars – and many forget to look up and see a near infinite array of galaxies above-, it is easy to forget we are connected to a sacred land, and live as one being with a multiplicity of life-forms. Ceremony is a reminder of the wider context and the connections that sustain our life. We could not have been born, and our live cannot be sustained -not for a single breath- unless the stars are hung just as they are, and the actions and prayers of your ancestors were not just as they were.
Do you feel the weight of this?

Can you connect with yourself, not as a separate identity, but as someone beyond time, someone who is the center of a universe, a creator, maintainer, and destroyer of the cosmos.

There is much more to say, but to summarize, a ceremony leader will create a unique scenario or ritual that contains symbolic elements and ritual acts that bring into consciousness all that I have spoken of and more. The more threads of connection they can weave into the collective prayer or drama create an opening of awareness for the individual and collective consciousness to be present. Presence is key, that is where healing happens, that is when manifestation happens, that is how realization occurs. When we become present with this moment, the eternal moment, and our place in the cosmos, we then become one with the cosmos, and can grab from the infinite intelligence that pulses through our living universe.

So then a community will come together, often gathered on the land, guided to open their awareness to the entire cosmos, and be brought through a ritual and symbolic drama to enter an altered state of consciousness. Ceremony may include the sacramental taking of plant medicines to enter altered states, the performance of dance, or entering heated or cooled environments, perhaps ritual sex or orgy may take place, or sitting in pews in a church. There are many ways to pray. And though not all ceremonies and cultures call it prayer, ceremony is about prayer, or if one is averse to that word, one can think of it as a personal and collective conversation with the universe – or that which is beyond the limited self.

What is a prayer? You are a prayer. Your life is a prayer. At a fundamental level of energy, you are conscious encoded light (information) and intelligence. Your being and your actions are your life’s prayer. Thus, the energy or vibration you live with, is your offering. Ceremony is a safe space for you to adjust your frequency to call in your prayer – which could be for healing, manifestation, enlightenment, etc. Depending on the intentions of the individual and the group the ceremony may be conducted uniquely to set the sacred stage for the prayers to be heard.
The power of proper prayer. Here are some elements that create powerful prayers:

  1. Prayers are lifted up, meaning sent off to the infinite intelligence of the universe when we truly desire their outcome with our total being.
  2. Prayers are lifted up when we raise our frequency – high frequency states include joy, ecstasy, love, compassion, etc
  3. Prayers are lifted up when we are fully present – with the entire cosmos, the four sacred directions, etc
  4. Prayers are lifted up when we offer something in return – a symbolic offering of something valuable to a sacred fire, or a gift of service
  5. Prayers are lifted up when they are deeply felt in the body – one may fast, or go through a trail of intense heat or even beatings to reach this state
  6. Prayers are lifted up when the prayer is heard and seen by their community
  7. Prayers are lifted up when they are in nature and when they work with the elements
  8. Prayers are lifted up when the prayers are harmonious with the law of One

The Role of a Ceremony Leader

The role of a ceremony leader is to guide the energy of the ceremony. The energy of the ceremony is the unique cadence of subtle energy moving through the field of awareness of the group. For example, in a healing ceremony, it is common that individuals will experience highs and lows, the heights are joy are exuberant emotion, and the lows are the depths of their body and being, deep sadness, grieving, and even despair. Ceremony is about entering these highs and lows in the safety of the group. A ceremony leader works the energy of the group, perhaps they sing, or instruct movement or dance, they may guide ritual acts, or ask certain individuals to share. Ceremony leaders must put their ego aside and be a clear channel for the higher intelligence of the collective group to speak through them. They will have a high sensitivity for the consciousness of each participants and will work with love towards the opening and clearing of the subtle energy blockages in the individuals. Though they may have a general form or structure to how their ceremony is held, the exact dance that develops for them has to be a deep listening to what is happening or who is there. In this way, a ceremony is truly an authentic co-creation of everyone there and their unique energy that is being offered in that moment.

A ceremony is often conducted in a ritual building that allows for the flow of energy to be guided and/or cleared. For example, the subtle magnetic fields that radiate from an individual’s energy body flow well in circular buildings, like a tipi, or a dome, or a maloca. Elements such as a central fire may be used to lift smoke, which helps to lift up the energy, and take the prayers into all the sacred directions.

When I guide participants in breathwork and medicine ceremonies I am always paying acute attention to individuals and their energy, and at times arranging people in certain patterns to amplify the energy. Participants will often be arranged in shapes, such as sitting in a circle, which helps the flow of energy and information move like waves through the group. As a ceremony leader, or facilitator, it is important to assure everyone is heard and seen and feels safe. In order for the nervous system to disengage from its ordinary state of consciousness and access the deeper layers of the psyche, one must feel truly held and safe to surrender. The ‘work’ of a ceremony holder and facilitator is not a part time gig. They must be able to live at a level of alignment and purity to truly be the kind of person on their own, and in the community that others can feel safe around. For a ceremony holder (depending on the type of ceremony they hold), they may be holding space for individuals young and old, or they may hold space for individuals who are near death, or are working with a malicious disease. There is a great responsibility and wisdom that is needed to hold this sacred space.
The guidance of the leader and the wisdom all participants receive is not from or at the level of the human being. Ceremony calls upon the higher forces, energies, and beings to guide the ceremony. What and who are these higher forces? Our cosmos is imbued with a living intelligence, the earth and stars, and the natural elements, and beings all carry a spirit, an intangible and intelligence spirit with energy and information. There are higher and lower worlds, each of these dimensions is home to various intelligence beings, gods, deities, and more. Different cultures are going to work with different energies, depending on the environment the ceremony is in, what the local culture is, and what the purposes of the ceremony are. The importance of understanding that the wisdom received and the guidance of ceremony is not of the people, but of the greater collective intelligence is key. That is why ceremony must connect individuals to the wider context of the cosmos, for when we connect with this greater intelligence, our understanding and actions can be rooted is greater field of awareness and power.

Which leads me to why ceremony is the sacred treasure our society has lost. We have become a people who has lost connection and guidance with the co-evolution of the life-forms of this planet. It is through ceremony that we connect to the earth and sky and find our why. It is when we continue to gather in community and hear and see all people that we gain the clear perspective of what is right action, who we are, and what we are here to give. Community is the stage for giving our authentic gifts, it is our wider spiritual body. Governance of the people, is not about an elected group of figure-heads trying to figure out what is best for the people. Governance is a deep listening to the cosmos, and learning to dance in the ritual drama of life.

As a ceremony leader I have seen ceremony heal what was termed fatal disease, and I have worked with individual making transitions to go beyond this life, I have seen true love develop in ceremony, I have held the space for individuals to laugh, and cry, and release pent up emotions they had been holding their whole life, and even lives. I have done none of these things except by the grace and good guidance of the universe, my elders, teachers, my guides, and the willing participation of the community and the individuals involved. And in this time where our society has an opportunity to develop new ways of being and relating to ourselves and in our world, I am standing up as a leader of ceremony and a guide for people to come back to the way of ceremony. This is an encouragement to remember your lineage and the lives you have lived in ceremony, and remember who you are in the widest context of your life. This is a call to come out to ceremony and join your community in a reclamation of our birth rite as sovereign souls to gather in council to heal, and to listen earth for answers.
Community ceremony is the cornerstone of healthy community. And ceremony is also a way of being and living. I have dinner ceremonies, bathing ceremonies, and morning and evening rituals. For example, I have an altar which has representations and reminders to draw my awareness to the entire cosmos, and those I love most. I keep them close to my heart and mind so that I never forget why I am here.

It is my prayer that you remember why you are here, to know your sacred purpose, to live and be held in your community, and for you to remember, it’s all a divine drama.
I thank you for reading.

If you resonate with these words and feel the call to reach out to learn more about ceremony and how to get connected with these ways, I am available.

I thank you, again – for you can never say ‘I thank’ you too many times.
With love,

  • Aya

How I became a breath master – my life’s teachings, and the every day wisdom of the breath.

First off, I am being seriously playful when I call myself a breath master.

I use the term because I recognize that my level of breath practice is beyond the ordinary, and through this writing, you’ll get a glimpse into the extraordinary feats of conscious breathing that I have undertaken.

So….does that mean I can hold my breath for a long time? Meh.
So…does that mean I have incredible cardiovascular endurance? Meh.

Then, what exactly have I mastered in terms of breathing?
Conscious breathing.

The average human breaths between 22,000-26,000 times per day. Most humans, most of the time, are not conscious of this basic breathing process. This breathing process is the silver thread that enables your body to sustain itself. Between birth and death, there is a continuous flow of breath. Without breath, you will die within minutes.

Therefore, I, and countless others through history have recognized the importance of the breath and have devoted their awareness to maintaining and making the breathing process more refined and conscious.

How we breath is how we think and feel. Meaning every mental-emotional state has a corresponding breathing pattern.
To shift our perception, we need only shift our breathing – the answer always is within.
..
Some context:
I practice mixed mindbody arts. From martial arts to yoga. In terms of breathing, I practice conscious connected breathwork, which denotes a specific style of breathing where the breath continuously flows without pause. But, I also practice breath awareness, which is a mindfulness practice of meditation where one witnesses the breath, without changing it’s rhythm and flow. Between consciously breathing as an effortful process, and effortlessly witnessing the breath, there are thousands of styles of breathing, and I play with them all.
..
Can I share a quick story?

I had a traumatic birth wherein my cord was wrapped around my neck. It left me with mental-emotional disturbances for over 20+ years. I recently wrote a post explaining this whole process you can find on my blog. I mention it here because I relived my birthing experience, and had a re-birthing. Re-birthing is when the nervous system goes back to the memory of birth and completes the experience. Completing the experience means fully moving through the emotions of the experience, releasing them, integrating the bodymind, feeling safety, and moving forward. For 20+ years I carried the legacy of that initial trauma and I held a fear of death that blocked my emotional availability. Till a single session of conscious breathing released it and I became reborn.
I immediately recognized the power and potential of the breath.
I was ripe to dive deep into the world of breathing, being an avid meditator and (at the time) having already done considerable work with plant medicines. I was primed to upgrade my practice with this new tool.

Over the next year or two I would quickly amass my 10,000 hours of practice.
I would go into the forest for 3, 4, 5, or sometimes 14 days or more. I would often fast. I would practice 10+ hours of yoga and meditation and day, and for the entire experience, I’d focus on my breathing. As I mentioned, most people breath 22,000-26,000 times per day, but most of them are unconsciously. Through my practice, I trained myself to make most of these breaths conscious. At times, while I was deep in meditation, I could even witness my body sleeping, but I still maintained a sliver of awareness of my breathing process.

Conscious breathing = awareness of the present moment. When you are fully engaged in the breathing process, the mind stills. I could go days without thinking a thought on my personal retreats. Just pure being. This process of becoming radically present enhanced my awareness, it facilitated my intuition and higher psychic gifts to come on-line, it allowed me to heal, to direct my life energies, to master my sexual energy, and to reach a level of contentment that has helped me to live in the world, yet not be of the world.

When one breaths into the body, they become more aware of what their feeling. We have an epidemic of disconnection, from each other, and especially from our own mind, body, and heart. Conscious breathing allows us to integrate all aspects of ourselves into one whole. Conscious breathing allows us to release stored and blocked emotion and karma. The breath, is not simply the breath. The breath contains a subtle energy, some call it life force, others call it prana or chi. This subtle life force creates and sustains the bodymind, and when one has such a sensitivity to their breath, they develop an enhanced capacity to work with this subtle energy for healing, growth, evolution, and manifestation.
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My evolution has been accelerated because of the time and place I live.

There has been spiritual traditions and practices from around the world that evolved in local regions. And now we are in an age where these traditions can be synthesized and brought into harmony with one another. I am a yogi, meditator, trantrika, plant medicine guide and psychonaut – and other labels. The point here is to express the synthesis of several intelligent systems of evolution that when combined together create a catalyst for accelerated growth.

My methods have evolved, and through my training and studying with medicine men and women and healers from around the world I have refined my process. I still go out in nature, in fact, nearly every week I will put aside my worldly duties and spend 2 days in nature. My level of practice has accelerated and my skill with medicine is growing.

For example, I am no stranger to working with 10, 20, or even 30 grams of mushrooms. The breath teaches us to surrender, as do plant medicines. And at a certain level of surrender, that is, when one has truly surrendered their fear of death, they may take as much medicine as they please and allow their consciousness to expand as far as they wish. The warning I’ll offer is that expansions are great, but then one must be able to integrate and accommodate the new level awareness into their contracted human form. This is why I call it accelerated evolution, because it did not take me long from going from being a regular human, raised in a small city, attended a Christian school, worked a 9-5 job, to holding ceremony and guiding 1000’s of individuals into altered states of consciousness and holding space for individuals as they prepare to pass from this life, or as they lose loved ones, or as they step into their medicine role, etc.

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It’s all about the breath. As a conscious creator of my reality, what I breath life into, is what manifests. My experience of existence is the result of my conscious and unconscious choices. By learning to breath consciously I was able to redirect my evolution out of unconscious and into a pathway of authentically creating my existence, both the conditions of my life, and my moment-to-moment mental emotional state.
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At a certain point of my process, I surrendered my separate identity, and became identified with the breath, and spirit of the breath. With it’s constant ebb and flow, there is a freedom of the breath, and when the breath moves effortlessly through the body, there is ease and grace.

How we breath is how we live.

I have done my service, I have surrendered the control I once had over my life force, which is a metaphor for the control my individual ego had over wanting my life to go and certain way, and I have learned to surrender to the will of the breath. Have a perfected this process? Fuck no. But I’m at a point in my process where my energies are all moving in a good way. When the majority of stored regret, grief, shame, guilt, resistance, self-hate, jealously, and other lower emotions have been cleared from the system one becomes lighter. This is the enlightenment process. Gradually, over enough time, all lesser emotions begin to lose the dominant stage for consciousness and love, compassion, gratitude, and equanimity take root in the being.

The secret to liberation is right under all of our noses. It is nothing out of reach. In a sense, there is nothing we must do to release ourselves from suffering, our natural state of being is perfect. And yet, it is a process that we must learn to surrender into. But, like the breath, it is never far. It is simply the process of learning to integrate the breath (pure spirit) with the body, and to align all the actions, intentions, and emotions in alignment with the breath or pure spirit. This takes a deep listening and relationship with the breath. The beautiful thing is, every breath is an opportunity to align, or to re-confirm your relationship with spirit. The truth is, if you are breathing, you are doing life right, you may not realize it, but you are supported. The spirit of life moves through you, as it does all beings.

You too are a breath master.

I understand that my story is not relatable for most people. In this lifetime I have chosen a mystical existence, I have chosen to work with the most powerful medicines on the planet and expand my consciousness to the farthest reaches it pleases to flow. But, let this not be a barrier for what is possible. The teachings of the breath, and medicine it carries to offer liberation, clearing of emotion, fears, and hesitation is for all beings. You need not work with fasting, plant medicines, or spending weeks in the forest to arrive at equanimity, love, compassion, and gratitude.

One of the principle teachings of the breath is to surrender the now. You are innately perfect, and life is as it should be, always and forever. Our task is not to earn our salvation, but to remember it. We remember ourselves when we have the space to set aside all the 10,000 things we ordinary do and think, and just be, to simply be with the breath.

That is enough. You are enough. Enough for today.

Reach out and learn to breath from me.