© CFA. 1994-2009. All
rights reserved. Updated July 2, 2009
Copyright Center for Awareness, Inc.
Chapter 16: The Five Principles of Rebirthing
The Rebirthing Process
The Rebirthing process is a technique in which the conscious experience of surrender leads to a greatly increased sense of personal freedom. As this is a concept most of us were not taught growing up, it takes some practice to affirm it as a way of life.
The circular connected breathing process, or conscious connected breathing, as Rebirthing is sometimes called, can be split into five steps or phases. They are not necessarily experienced in strictly one-two-three order in a session. However, it is useful to divide it this way in order to increase our awareness of the different parts to assist in the best possible outcome of each session. I am indebted to Jim Leonard for his model of Integrative Rebirthing (now called Vivation) and his delineation of the five stages of the Rebirthing experience. I have renamed and slightly changed the definitions of his original model.
1st Principle: Breathing
The first part is the actual breathing itself. The Rebirthing breath is accomplished by pulling the inhale high in the lungs, and simply dropping the exhale, keeping each inhale connected to the exhale connected to the inhale, etc. The exhale is neither forced nor held.
This is different than most forms of yoga or meditation breathwork which have a more structured way of breathing. At first this way of breathing may feel awkward, but the body easily adjusts to it. (See Chapter 17)
2nd Principle: Awareness
The second part of the session is to simply be aware of what you are feeling and thinking. It is not necessary to dwell on thoughts, or to try to make them go away. There is a part of self that can be an observer of all this without being a part of either thoughts or feelings. For most people, this detachment is something that comes with practice. Usually the first series of Rebirthings is a revelation of feelings long buried, some never consciously experienced before.
Awareness is a state of being, not doing. There is nothing to do about what surfaces during a session. Sometimes people are tempted to act out anger or get deeply involved in crying. Feeling anger as it comes up is sufficient to eventually deal with it. Crying is very healing if it happens in a session. The effectiveness isn't in consciously expressing these or other feelings. The most important part is to just let these different emotions surface as they do and not resist or suppress them.
It is very tempting to fight some of this; however, the reason most people end up working with the breath is because they have been holding in feelings most of their lives, and resistance hasn't worked. Relaxing in the presence of discomfort may be a new way to dissolve or release it. (See Chapter 18)
3rd Principle: Acceptance
The next step is to accept- without judgment- whatever comes up in the session as a part of ourselves. This also is an inner state of being, which means stop resisting or suppressing anything about self. Resistance and suppression are doings, and these are things that have complicated life up to this point. Resistance can manifest as sleepiness, tiredness, yawning, daydreams, restlessness, hunger, or anything that- in the session- distracts a person from finishing the Rebirth. It is not natural for the body to suppress, and the circular breathing rhythm allows the body to clear many of these held-in feelings. (See Chapter 19)
4th Principle: Relaxation
As we become aware and accept all that we see and feel about ourselves, there is an experience of relaxation many people report they've never consciously felt before the session.
This happens when we stop running from- resisting or suppressing- feelings. If we have a belief that we never do enough, when that feeling starts to build inside, we may get busy to make it go away. It becomes apparent it's not possible to make the discomfort stay away, before we create burnout or a nervous breakdown. Some people aren't that conscious and have to create physical problems before they will stop long enough to let the body clear the feeling.
Learning to not do anything when that old belief or feeling is trying to surface is the fastest way to take care of it. (See Chapter 20)
5th Principle: Integration
The completion of a session is called integration. Usually, any tensions, fears, or other uncomfortable feelings disappear. What is left is feeling relaxed, but not sleepy, and energized, but not wired. This experience includes the following characteristics:
- having our thoughts match our feelings.
- being at peace with ourselves, including the parts that aren't complete.
- being more consciously in love and like with ourselves.
Integration means feeling the certainty, or at least the possibility, of Physical Immortality. Integration is a more complete sense of self. It means feeling like we can continue the Rebirthing breath forever. It is feeling more open and alive.
It means having a more realistic understanding of talents and potential, and no longer setting goals that are unreachable. It also means not settling for something less than we are capable. Integration is a centered-ness that comes from being much less afraid of what life might bring us. Since we have looked into some of the deeper parts of self and realize that we have lived through it, we can proceed in life with a renewed excitement about life.
Perhaps the deepest fear most people have is of dying, which is not the same as the fear of being dead. Rebirthing helps us address the fear of dying. When we start to look face-to-face at that one, there are few other things about being human that can scare us the same way. Relationships or money concerns seem less threatening to survival after processing our fears about dying and death.
Integration is living through what happens in a Rebirthing session and seeing this experience realized with a confidence that translates this new understanding into all other areas of our lives. Facing our feelings about our parental relationships translates directly into healthier, more satisfying adult relationships. Seeing how we might sabotage success- such as by having difficulty with money (perhaps to get back at our parents)- frees us up to address our anger honestly with them. The result is being more successful at making money.
Rebirthing is a holistic process in that it heals the emotional attitudes and belief systems that affect every area of our lives. In fact, it is awesome to experience actual physical headings just by changing our beliefs about what we expect from life. If we expect an abundance of love, health, and money in our lives- and we clear unconscious blocks to this expectation- we experience all the abundance we could ever desire. The more we love all we discover about ourselves, the easier and more abundant life gets. This is integration. (See Chapter 21)
Rebirthing can be used any time it is desired, as often as it is desired. As a preventive technique, the recommended frequency is weekly or bi-weekly. There is a momentum built-up in using the tool this often, and the clearing effects of the breathwork continue between sessions. Less often, and increased tension and dissatisfaction may become evident. The rule of thumb is to use Rebirthing on a regular basis. This minimizes or eliminates crisis situations in our lives.