Curious as to what I was finding at 3AM in my left cheek, and then in the right shoulder, I did some research. Your practice steps appear straightforward, but the theory behind it is quite complex.
I found this ‘Waking Up’ writeup on your website.
Although the placement of consciousness must be spontaneous for the two involuntary respiratory systems to coordinate naturally, it may well be that a pattern will develop in the placement of consciousness for a period of time. Gautama the Buddha referred to the development of such a pattern as “the sign of the concentration”.
Such a pattern unfolds of its own accord, and is never exactly the same twice. The key to accepting and relinquishing such a pattern is the feeling connected with its occurrence, and the knowledge that the pattern serves the cranial-sacral system’s response to the necessity of breath.
I am looking forward to experimenting with the waking up part, will report back in few days. all the best.
humbleone, thanks for your interest; my site is a kind of personal practice journal, it’s true, starting from the writing on The Mudra of Zen which is the homepage. I started writing, then I picked the title, then I tried to figure out what in the world I could say about the mudra I use when I sit zazen (which is the traditional mudra of Soto Zen). I still use the practice I describe there, pretty good for a shot in the dark. Nevertheless, I’m acutely aware that it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. Most of my friends have declared that they like me, but if I ever talk anatomy to them again they will not be responsible for their actions.
Some things I need to research a little more. I quote a description of reciprocal innervation I got from John Upledger’s books, but online the other day I discovered that for most people reciprocal innervation means something different. I think it’s true that stretch in the fascia and ligaments can generate muscular activity, and even reciprocal muscular activity, but I’m not sure that I can find support for it in the literature at large. Likewise, Upledger’s research on the cranial-sacral rhythm has yet to find corroboration as far as I can tell, yet I’m convinced that the second respiration (as cranial-sacral folks refer to it) is real. The bit you quoted is from a letter I wrote to a friend, trying to explain my understanding. The piece on the translations of motion in the lotus was written for the same friend. Waking Up and Falling Asleep is a big step for me, as there is virtually no anatomy and no reference to the two respirations in it. For me, I am reminded that life and death are as close as waking up and falling asleep, and I need look no further.
Thanks so much for thinking to try out the waking up part, I look forward to hearing how that goes, when you find the time. yers, Mark