Holotropic Breathwork Naturally Induces Psychedelic States of Mind

holotropic breathwork

by Jeff Roberts

Humans have a unique appetite for experiencing altered states of consciousness, and this inclination is evident in many facets of social culture today, such as our attraction to alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, psychedelics, and more.

But is it possible to access these altered states without the help of a substance? Do we all possess the inner mechanisms to heal our latent traumas?

Dr. Stanislav Grof, a 83-year old Czech-born psychiatrist fascinated by the healing capabilities of non-ordinary states, has just the answer to these questions.

Stanislav teaches a powerful technique called holotropic breathwork, a practice he’s been developing and teaching to clients since the mid-70s.

What makes holotropic breathwork particularly fascinating is its remarkable ability to induce psychedelic states.

The process itself is quite simple: it combines accelerated breathing with evocative music in a special setting. While laying on a mat with their eyes closed, each person uses their own breath and the music in the room to enter a non-ordinary state of consciousness.

This state activates the natural inner healing process of the individual’s psyche, bringing him or her a particular set of internal experiences. With this inner healing intelligence guiding the process, the quality of the experience and the content brought forth is unique to each person, and to that particular time and place. While recurring themes are common, no two sessions are ever alike.

How LSD Inspired The Holotropic Breathwork Technique

During the early stages of Stanislav’s career, LSD had just exploded into the realm of scientific research and psychotherapy.

While working with LSD, Stanislav developed a theoretical framework for prenatal and perinatal psychology and transpersonal psychology in which LSD trips and other powerfully emotional experiences were mapped onto a person’s early fetal and neonatal experiences.

Nevertheless, his work was halted after LSD and other psychedelics were banned in the late 1960s under the Controlled Substances Act. Stanislav knew that these altered states had a profound power to help people, and this knowledge fueled him to develop a technique that would allow people to access these states without drugs.

Enter holotropic breathwork, a technique which could be seen as Stanislav’s magnum opus.

Why Try Holotropic Breathwork?

It is said that subconscious traumas of our past hide in the deep corners of our psyche. Here, they fester, eventually surfacing as physical or emotional ailments later in our lives, but often masked by our egos.

This is where holotropic breathwork comes in handy. The technique has been known to help relieve chronic pain, shift depression, release anger, improve medical conditions such as asthma, migraine, or premenstrual tension, support recovery from addiction, receive intuitive insights, or simply provide clarity in troublesome areas of our lives.

In addition, participants report that it has helped them find meaning and purpose in their life, let go of negative thoughts, diminish their fear of death, release accumulated stress and trauma, as well as feel a sense of greater connection with physical, emotional, and spiritual parts of themselves




The Conspiracy of Language


by Zen Gardner

Here’s a good exercise that will help alter your conscious awareness and put punch and clarity where slosh once existed. Don’t even use the words “hope” or “believe”. Every time you’re tempted to say, write or even think these debilitating, nebulous concepts, replace “I hope” or “I believe” with “I think” or “it appears to me” or something else realistic that clearly indicates what you really mean.

These types of inhibitors are a subtle trick of the programmed language we’ve been handed.

We don’t need full evidence to make conjectures or intuitive surmisings. Just call them what they are. Hope is one of the most misleading and disempowering terms we’ve ever been handed, as is belief. Drop them entirely. We tend to know what people seem to mean when using these terms, but they’re still just as intellectually and spiritually crippling.

Catch Yourself

When you catch yourself using these terms you’ll be surprised at how often they appear and how much this exercise strengthens your perception and awareness. These misleading terms run around humanity like viruses just waiting to infect the unwary. Just as we wash our hands regularly when going out in public, we need to do the same with our minds and the use of their dirty language.

It’s a bit like fear porn and falling for the dark side of viewing the world around us. Sure we need to be aware of the sickness pervading society and the machinations of the would-be Controllers, but these language tricks are all potential traps to sap our energy and powers of true intention and conscious awareness, the very tools we so desperately need to rise above this ongoing fray with the forces around us.

Free Your Mind – Meet the Trivium

The above segues nicely into something I’ve wanted to bring up for some time. Many are familiar with this rational approach to learning and discovering as it’s quite remarkably lucid and helps one stand back and clearly assess the information before us and regain our intellectual and even spiritual sovereignty.

Unfortunately and as expected, this method of learning has been lost or adulterated in today’s world as evidenced by the confusion and blind ignorance that are so rampant in society and our deliberately dumbed down educational system.

The ideas of “hope” and “belief” are deeply intertwined in religious thought and hence all of society. They are perfect examples of false, misleading and disempowering concepts that learning techniques such as the Trivium can quickly dispel for upcoming generations. This subject deserves serious study but I’ll include some introductory information here to help give the feel of what this is about and hopefully stir your interest in this fascinating and liberating conscious learning technology.

In medieval universities the Trivium combined with the Quadrivium comprised the seven liberal arts. This teaching method is based on a curriculum outlined by Plato. One of the key intentions behind applying the Trivium and the Quadrivium is to distinguish between reality and fiction. By training the mind how to think – instead of what to think – this method provides a teaching of the arts and the science of the mind as well as the art of the science of matter.

Tools of Knowing

The Trivium and the Quadrivium are often presented in a Pythagorean triangle which represents the human way of knowing :

01004d (1)

Any observation enters our mind through the 5 senses. Then we use our mind and apply the Trivium and the Quadrivium in order to process the observation. This process consists of several steps which enable us to understand how the observation relates to what we already know, how we can explain this new piece of information to others and how we can store it in a methodical way.

The Trivium method of thought

The Trivium is the first half of the 7 Liberal Arts. It consists of 3 elements : General grammar, formal logic and classical rhetoric. Sacred texts often refer to these 3 elements as knowledge, understanding and wisdom. The overarching topic of the Trivium is communication and language.

Within the process of seeing, conceptualizing and speaking it is important to be aware that the created concept about how we think reality is, does not equate reality as it really is.

In other words, the map is not the territory.

Aristotle who is considered to be one of the originators of the ideas behind the Trivium stated that an educated man should be capable of considering and investigating any idea or concept thoroughly without necessarily embracing or dismissing it. If during any discussion it becomes obvious that the other person is emotionally involved regarding a particular subject matter, then it is impossible to have a rational discussion based on the Trivium with them. Any emotional attachment to a particular belief blocks any kind of rational or logical argumentation. [Emphasis mine].(more>)

[*Note the direct reference to those emotionally attached to a belief and how it blocks rational discourse. – Z]

Sounds Too Rational?

We’re dealing with the rational mind, which works in conjunction with our imaginative/creative mind. These work in concert. Above all is keeping a conscious awareness above both processes, but each has its place, just as we inhabit a physical body that works in conjunction with Spirit…




8 WTF Moments In Classical Art

by nmiz1990  

If you’ve ever been to an art museum it’s pretty easy to be confused by what you’re looking at.

These are just a few of the weirder ones. And what’s better than weird art?

Sienese master, 13th century, Louvre.


Minos, Last Judgement, Michelangelo, 1540, Sistine Chapel.


Bacchanal of the Andrians, Titian, 1523. Museo del Prado.

Take it easy with that stuff, Jesus.

Christ with crown of thorns, Artist Unknown, 17th Century. Segovia Cathedral.

Yeah, can you stuff my human with extra crows please? And hold the ketchup, thanks.

The Garden of Earthly Delights, Hieronymous Bosch, 1500, Museo del Prado.

Gigantic disembodied hands?

Last Judgment, Gislebertus, 1130, St. Lazare de Autun.


Stigmatization of St. Francis, Giotto, 1325, Santa Croce.

I don’t know whether to laugh or scream.

Temtpation of St. Anthony, Salvator Rosa, 1645.



Super Bowl athletes are scientists at work

There’s science going on here, no test tubes or lab coats necessary. USA Today Sports / Reuters

by Chad Orzel (Associate Professor of Physics at Union College)

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman gets called a lot of things. He calls himself the greatest cornerback in the NFL (and Seattle fans tend to agree). Sportswriters and some other players call him a loudmouth and a showboater. Fans of other teams call him a lot of things that shouldn’t see print (even on the internet). One thing you’re not likely to hear anyone on ESPN call Sherman, though, is “scientist.”

And yet, an elite professional athlete like Richard Sherman is, in fact, extremely adept at doing science. Not the white-lab-coat, equations-on-a-blackboard sort of science, but the far older and universal process of observing, making and testing models of the universe.

Science is best understood not as a collection of esoteric knowledge, but a four-step process for figuring out how the universe operates. You look at the world around you, you think about why it might work the way it does, you test that theory with experiments and further observations, then you tell everyone the results. In that sense, there are few activities more ruthlessly scientific than a professional football game.

A cornerback like Sherman is given the assignment of preventing passes to a particular area of the field, but he has to decide the best approach to do that. He does this by making and updating a mental model of the other team — what formation they’re in, what they’ve done in the past — and using it to decide what he should do — which of two players to follow closely, whether to get in position for a tackle or try to intercept a pass. This model is immediately put to the test on the field, and everybody watching sees the results. Then the players line back up and do it again.

This essentially scientific process of making and testing mental models is repeated by every player on the field every play of the game — Tom Brady and the Patriots’ receiving corps will be trying to figure out what Sherman is going to do, and act accordingly. This Sunday’s Super Bowl is one of the largest scientific endeavors you’ll ever see on live television.

If this is your only image of a scientist, it’s time to update your mental models.Lab image via www.shutterstock.com.
Click to enlarge

We tend not to think of sporting events as scientific for a whole host of reasons, from the speed of the game, which doesn’t seem to allow time for conscious thought, to politics of race and class. As Patricia Fara notes in her Science: A Four Thousand Year History, the arbitrary division between abstract science and practical technology dates back to the time of Archimedes, and even earlier. But a closer examination shows that even something like football, while commonly perceived as brutishly physical, involves an enormous mental component that parallels the process of scientific discovery.

While the look-think-test-tell process is followed in every area of science, the frequent repetition of a football game — a typical NFL game runs to better than 120 plays — finds a great analogue in the science of timekeeping. Measuring time, like playing football, involves constant testing and updating, comparing a model clock to an external standard over and over, and adjusting to keep them synchronized. The end result can be fantastically precise…




Are your over the counter medicines making you ill? As it’s revealed some hayfever drugs and sleeping pills may raise the risk of dementia, what about the other medicines in your bathroom cabinet

Medicines such as Benylin with Codeine (pictured) can cause drowsiness in the short term

Medicines such as Benylin with Codeine (pictured) can cause drowsiness in the short term

  • New research links over-the-counter drugs to a higher risk of dementia
  • Some products contain drugs that block a brain chemical linked to memory
  • Expert: ‘Just because a drug is sold in a pharmacy doesn’t mean it’s safe’

How safe are over-the-counter pills you buy from your supermarket or chemist? New U.S. research has linked the drugs in some over-the-counter and prescription medicines to a higher risk of dementia.

Products such as the antihistamine Piriton and the sleep remedy Nytol contain drugs that have an anticholinergic effect, which means they block a brain chemical linked to memory.

The U.S. study found that over-65s who took these drugs every day for more than three years were at greater risk of brain disease.

But are other over-the-counter drugs as safe as we all assume? It’s easy to forget these are proper medical drugs. Until recently, many over-the-counter pills were available only on prescription.

‘Just because a drug is sold in a supermarket or a pharmacy doesn’t mean it’s completely safe,’ warns Dr Ian Maidment, a senior lecturer in pharmacy at Aston University. ‘All drugs have side-effects.

‘Some drugs available over the counter may also affect other drugs prescribed by your GP.’

There’s also the risk that taking them long-term delays getting a proper diagnosis, with serious implications for your health. Here, Ash Soni, president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, and community pharmacist Adam Turner look at some of the most popular over-the-counter products and tell you how to take them safely.


BRAND NAMES: Nexium and Zanprol.

Drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a popular remedy for acid reflux and cut acid production.

POTENTIAL RISKS: Initially, headaches and diarrhoea but these usually clear. However, the pills shouldn’t be taken for more than a week without consulting your GP, warns Ash Soni, because symptoms might be due to a more serious condition, such as cancer or an ulcer.

PPIs also intensify the effects of warfarin, increasing the risk of clots or bleeding.

They may also lead to vitamin B12 deficiency (less stomach acid means fewer nutrients are absorbed). Adam Turner says: ‘In rare cases, long-term use of high doses can increase the risk of fractures in older people. That shouldn’t be a problem with over-the-counter PPIs, because they’re low dose, but we never know how patients will take them.’

WHAT’S THE ALTERNATIVE? ‘Try an antacid such as Gaviscon, which coats the stomach contents to prevent them bubbling up, or Rennies, which absorb stomach acid,’ says Ash Soni.

Losing weight, eating fewer fatty foods and avoiding tight waistbands all help take pressure off the stomach.


BRAND NAMES: Codeine-based painkillers such as Codeine, Co-codamol, Benylin with Codeine, Migraleve, Panadol Extra, Solpadeine, Solpadol, Syndol, Tylex.

As well as a painkiller, codeine acts as a cough suppressant and is found in some cough and cold remedies. It is a mild opioid similar to morphine, but weaker. It binds to opioid receptors in the nervous system, blocking pain sensations.

POTENTIAL RISKS: In the short-term, codeine can cause drowsiness, mood changes and constipation. Taken with certain prescription drugs — such as sleeping pills or tricyclic antidepressants (eg amitryptyline) that slow down the brain or nervous system — the combined effects can lead to slow breathing, sleepiness, coma and even death in some cases.

Codeine has an anticholinergic effect and has been linked with memory problems and a greater risk of falls (the drugs make you feel less co-ordinated). Codeine is fine used short-term, says Ash Soni, but he warns: ‘Because codeine is similar to morphine, it can give you a feeling of euphoria and can be addictive.’

Adam Turner adds: ‘I wouldn’t advise taking codeine-based pain-killers bought over the counter for more than three days, mainly because of the risk of addiction. They may also cause drowsiness.’

WHAT’S THE ALTERNATIVE?: ‘A non-opioid painkiller such as paracetamol is very effective but don’t take more than the daily maximum dose (two 500mg tablets, taken four times a day),’ says Ash Soni.


BRAND NAMES: Optrex Infected Eyes, Golden Eye antibiotic drops.

Eye drops and ointments containing the antibiotic chloramphenicol are used for bacterial conjunctivitis, a common eye infection.

POTENTIAL RISKS: ‘The main worry is people won’t take the full course (five to seven days for the drops, five days for the ointment) and the infection will keep recurring,’ says Ash Soni. ‘In rare cases, the bacteria get into the bloodstream, causing scarring in the eye, blood poisoning and meningitis.

‘There’s also the risk of antibiotic resistance if the course isn’t completed.’ This means they may not help you with future infections, making these hard to treat.

If the infection hasn’t cleared in a week, see your GP. There may be another cause or you might need a stronger treatment.

WHAT’S THE ALTERNATIVE? Keep the eye clean by bathing with cooled boiled water. Conjunctivitis usually clears on its own in a few days.


BRAND NAME: Flomax Relief MR.

With age, a man’s prostate gland enlarges, a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This causes difficulty urinating. The active ingredient in Flomax is tamsulosin hydrochloride, which relaxes muscles surrounding the bladder and urethra (the tube from the bladder) and makes it easier to urinate.

POTENTIAL RISKS: Immediate side-effects include tiredness and headaches. ‘The main worry,’ says Ash Soni, ‘is that men use these long-term, without finding out the true cause of their symptoms — and the symptoms of BPH are very similar to prostate cancer.’

WHAT’S THE ALTERNATIVE? You can only buy Flomax Relief MR for a maximum of six weeks — you then need to see a GP…


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2933964/Are-counter-medicines-making-ill-s-revealed-hayfever-drugs-sleeping-pills-raise-risk-dementia-medicines-bathroom-cabinet.html#ixzz3QQizdH8L
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Cancer Criminals: The Shady World of People Faking Cancer Online

The Internet has made it easier for those with bad intentions to take advantage of the good will of others.

A couple of years ago, I was moved by a teenager’s devastatingly sad tale she’d posted online: Both she and her best friend had cancer, and the best friend was losing her battle. I posted words of encouragement and shared her messages with my friends to support this poor girl, but a few months later, I began questioning. Everything that possibly could go wrong on the planet seemed to be going wrong for her. Each day was another tragedy or near tragedy. When I investigated her story, I discovered it was entirely made up and her photos stolen. I tracked down the girl’s mother to alert her to what her daughter was posting online, and got a nasty letter in response that surprised me. She said her daughter wasn’t harming anyone and that I should leave her alone.

I thought it was a one-off oddity until I got involved with the Jessie Rees Foundation, a pediatric cancer charity, and found out it’s not uncommon for people to fake cancer—usually for donations, sometimes just for attention.

New Yorker Brittany Ozarowski, then 21, faked bone and brain cancer to get donations to pay for heroin, even conning her own grandmother out of about $100,000. At times, she sat in front of supermarkets with her father or another woman handing out flyers asking for donations. She also approached businesses directly, walking in with a cane and a sob story about her inability to pay for her treatment. Ozarowski took a plea deal in 2013 that would involve rehab and community service and no prison time.

Arizonan Jamie Lynn Toler, then 27, collected donations from friends, family and coworkers, claiming she had breast cancer and needed a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Instead, she used the donations—almost $8,000—for breast implants. She was sentenced to one year in jail and three months of probation, and ordered to pay restitution.

Leron Magilner of Delaware, then 34, claimed he was dying of pancreatic cancer so people would pay for his rent and “bucket list” vacations. He claimed to have only six months to live, shaved his head and eyebrows, and even disguised his voice on the phone to pose as a doctor confirming his illness to a suspicious coworker. Local businesses donated auction items for a benefit in his honor, and in all, he collected about $35,000. He pled guilty to all charges and was sentenced to nine to 23 months in prison.

While the majority of fundraisers are genuine, the Internet has made it easier for those with bad intentions to find victims to scam. The latest case of cancer fraud is unfolding in Tennessee, perpetrated by 35-year-old Kristen Bible Hines…





The Real Drug Lords: A brief history of CIA involvement in the Drug Trade

By William Blum

This article was first published on August 31, 2008.

1947 to 1951, FRANCE

According to Alfred W. McCoy in The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, CIA arms, money, and disinformation enabled Corsican criminal syndicates in Marseille to wrestle control of labor unions from the Communist Party. The Corsicans gained political influence and control over the docks — ideal conditions for cementing a long-term partnership with mafia drug distributors, which turned Marseille into the postwar heroin capital of the Western world. Marseille’s first heroin laboratones were opened in 1951, only months after the Corsicans took over the waterfront.


The Nationalist Chinese army, organized by the CIA to wage war against Communist China, became the opium barons of The Golden Triangle (parts of Burma, Thailand and Laos), the world’s largest source of opium and heroin. Air America, the ClA’s principal airline proprietary, flew the drugs all over Southeast Asia. (See Christopher Robbins, Air America, Avon Books, 1985, chapter 9)

1950s to early 1970s, INDOCHINA During U.S. military involvement in Laos and other parts of Indochina, Air America flew opium and heroin throughout the area. Many Gl’s in Vietnam became addicts. A laboratory built at CIA headquarters in northern Laos was used to refine heroin. After a decade of American military intervention, Southeast Asia had become the source of 70 percent of the world’s illicit opium and the major supplier of raw materials for America’s booming heroin market.

1973-80, AUSTRALIA

The Nugan Hand Bank of Sydney was a CIA bank in all but name. Among its officers were a network of US generals, admirals and CIA men, including fommer CIA Director William Colby, who was also one of its lawyers. With branches in Saudi Arabia, Europe, Southeast Asia, South America and the U.S., Nugan Hand Bank financed drug trafficking, money laundering and international arms dealings. In 1980, amidst several mysterious deaths, the bank collapsed, $50 million in debt. (See Jonathan Kwitny, The Crimes of Patriots: A True Tale of Dope, Dirty Money and the CIA, W.W. Norton & Co., 1 987.)

1970s and 1980s, PANAMA

For more than a decade, Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega was a highly paid CIA asset and collaborator, despite knowledge by U.S. drug authorities as early as 1971 that the general was heavily involved in drug trafficking and money laundering. Noriega facilitated ”guns-for-drugs” flights for the contras, providing protection and pilots, as well as safe havens for drug cartel otficials, and discreet banking facilities. U.S. officials, including then-ClA Director William Webster and several DEA officers, sent Noriega letters of praise for efforts to thwart drug trafficking (albeit only against competitors of his Medellin Cartel patrons). The U.S. government only turned against Noriega, invading Panama in December 1989 and kidnapping the general once they discovered he was providing intelligence and services to the Cubans and Sandinistas. Ironically drug trafficking through Panama increased after the US invasion. (John Dinges, Our Man in Panama, Random House, 1991; National Security Archive Documentation Packet The Contras, Cocaine, and Covert Operations.)


The San Jose Mercury News series documents just one thread of the interwoven operations linking the CIA, the contras and the cocaine cartels. Obsessed with overthrowing the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua, Reagan administration officials tolerated drug trafficking as long as the traffickers gave support to the contras. In 1989, the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics, and International Operations (the Kerry committee) concluded a three-year investigation by stating:

“There was substantial evidence of drug smuggling through the war zones on the part of individual Contras, Contra suppliers, Contra pilots mercenaries who worked with the Contras, and Contra supporters throughout the region…. U.S. officials involved in Central America failed to address the drug issue for fear of jeopardizing the war efforts against Nicaragua…. In each case, one or another agency of the U.S. govemment had intormation regarding the involvement either while it was occurring, or immediately thereafter…. Senior U S policy makers were nit immune to the idea that drug money was a perfect solution to the Contras’ funding problems.” (Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy, a Report of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and Intemational Operations, 1989)…