The Light Conversations

Hello Dear Readers!

It’s been a while since we have published articles online, however 2020 is proving to be a year in which the entire world is in great need of deep healing. Mental, physical, spiritual healing- there are certainly a lot of stories here to inspire and activate thought, dialogue or debate around many forms of and personal experiences with alternative healing.

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We are delighted to announce an exciting venture into podcasting interviews and videos with healers, writers, thinkers, creatives and experts on The Light Conversations. We feel these topics and dialogue are much needed at this time.

http://www.thelightconversations.com

Highlight : Kevin James

KEVIN JAMES CARROLL
Photo by Masumi Lacoste

What type of healing do you do?

I don’t call myself a healer. I suppose I facilitate a space in which healing takes place.

When did you discover an interest in the healing power of music?

It was a gradual progression of seeing results and getting feedback. I experienced it for myself early on, as a musician you soon learn about “The zone” no matter what music you play. This zone is healing in any form. I suppose what I have done is refine it and direct it towards healing and reconnection, because I believe this is needed the most.

Have you always had a musical life?

No, I was brought up in a totally non musical family. I didn’t discover live music until my 21st birthday.

How do you describe the type of songs that you sing?

I call them Heartsongs. From the heart to the heart.
They are a combination of all my influences from folk music to Indian Kirtan, Buddhist mantras, Sufi chants. I love devotional music. Music with heart.

How did you develop your abilities and methods?

My abilities and methods have developed over 2 decades of sharing, honing, refining and defining what I do, in which there is still no real clear distinction. It is an outcome of my path in life. As best I can, I follow my heart and try to find balance and harmony in everything.
How do you prepare for your circles?

This is also a constant progression. Years ago, I just showed up. Now, as the circles have grown and my path become more clear, I am in constant preparation.
Every moment is in some way preparing and priming myself for the next circle or recording..

Why specifically do you do this work?

This is not accurate for me to call it work, as I never chose this as a job as such.
I suppose it has developed this way but really it is an outcome of my connection to myself and having the faith and strength to follow my heart against all odds; which in essence is where the real work lies.
When I connect to myself, I automatically connect to my path in life, my purpose and my passion, also my dreams. Following your heart is actually about doing what makes you feel good and gives you joy. As I live life in close connection to my heart, I can honestly say that equally, life is living me. Its a dance that is so beautiful I cannot turn away from it. Instead of investing my identity into the misperception of ego. I am more drawn to identify with this life itself in all honesty, and it seems that this life, or consciousness within me seeks for the benefit of all. It seems to create a space and an energy where all are lifted. This is a lovely thing to be a part of so i willingly follow and serve its will.

What transformations have you experienced through doing this work?

Greater freedom, more choices, less desire, more acceptance, more faith, less chaos, more harmony, greater health, more balance, more good feelings, greater flow, more safety, less wrong, more right, fulfilment, contentment and purpose, effectiveness and healing. I have watched a progression or restoration in my being of what i would call good human values which in turn brings a sense of integrity and virtue that one carries with dignity and grace. This is a wealth beyond measure that we carry in our aura and cannot be taken away and it is a wealth that never leaves you, even in challenging times.
What transformations have you witnessed in others?

The obvious one is during the circles. Over the space of two hours there is a transformation that takes place that is difficult to describe in words. You really need to experience it but this video shows the journey of re-connection to the heart very well. It is a transformation wherein the veils of illusion that divide us come down and we begin to experience our true nature, which is love.

 What has your greatest realisation or learning been on your journey?

That I don’t exist as a separate entity. That I am an integrated part of the whole, a part of God and I have within me the same nature. This reflects in the way I see others and a great compassion is present. That i can relax and simply truly be myself without projecting a code or mode of behavior in any form. I can be spontaneous wild and free, without fear. This does not make me an out of control individual. Its quite the contrary. This actually makes me become more responsible for every breath I take and every movement of my being. This makes me become true.

Can you please share some powerful healing that you have experienced?

No, sorry. You will hear in the lyrics of my last song from the album Heartstrings that
a true healer does not see sickness or disease or even healing, just wellness.
What happens to others is the responsibility of themselves.
What is your favourite music to listen to?

Tina Malia, Jai Uttal, Krishna Das

Do you have one tip to share for happiness and wellbeing in everyday life?

Take the time to get your priorities right.

What are your plans for the future, evolution of what you do?

Just to keep growing with it and also to be prepared to let it it go. This is not who I am and there is nothing more important than to follow the heart wherever it takes you.

Anything else you would like to mention or share?

There is something magic that happens in the circles that over the space of two hours, can change our reality, the feeling can last for days and from some reports, it is life changing.
What I have done, is take it a step further and use the environment of particular high energy and beautiful places to support a group to go even deeper. We stay in that energy field, travel together and sing every day. I also share my morning practices of vocal tuning and emotional balancing using the voice, yoga and meditation. This experience can really transform our lives and is the essence of the few retreats that I run every year in different parts of the world like Ladakh, Corfu, Bhutan, The Grand Canyon, Chanting with whales in Australia and others.

Please check my calendar for the next planned retreats.
KevinJamesHeartSongs

Photo by Suki Zoe
Photo by Suki Zoe

© Lightening Magazine 2016

Highlight : Anthony Abbagnano

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A 13 month-old toddler wobbles towards the side of the road, just as a car approaches. “Toby! Stop!” his mother screams as she runs towards him. In that moment before he breaks into tears, the child freezes, his breath trapped in his chest. It’s a moment his being will never forget.

Each trauma we experience makes us contract, the reaction becoming a habit until as adults we become used to denying our body a full and free breath. Even a small rise in tension is enough to make it short and incomplete. Yet our breath is our most important bodily function. Without it we are brain dead in just ten minutes. In fact our brain consumes as much as 20-25% of our oxygen intake, and over the last 200 years, since the industrial revolution, we have steadily diminished the supply due to pollution, lack of exercise, and living in closed, air-conditioned environments. Our air quality has become so bad that in hospitals, the very place where health should be protected and restored, we now contract mysterious illnesses we have never seen before due to the lack of plain old ‘fresh air’.

The truth is, Breath is the greatest gift we never received.

My life is a joy because I travel the world and teach The Alchemy of Breath. Day after day I witness what happens for those who are prepared to explore the simple practice of breathing consciously. I have seen lives change direction in a day, marriages revived, addictions abandoned and depression defeated. What is it about conscious breathing that makes life change so quickly?

I believe it to be information. When we breathe consciously, its not just the oxygen supply we increase, it’s also what comes with it. There are three ways that conscious breathing can make a difference to our health; physical, psychic, and spiritual.

Let us start with the physical body. The more we research oxygen, the more we become aware of its benefits. Many diseases cannot survive in an oxygenated environment. Recovery time from serious surgery has been cut enormously by using simple conscious breathing practices. Likewise, we are developing diagnostic techniques that use the breath as the information source. Cancer can be detected in the exhale, imminent heart attack can be revealed by breath analysis, and of course for those who drink and drive, they are well aware that alcohol levels have been easily determined by examination of the exhale for over 50 years! Diagnosis as a whole is set to change over the next 5 years as a result of the understanding the Breath. It will become instant and non-invasive, as the information required is already there, in our exhale.

Google ‘breath’ and ‘detox’ and see the myriad of information about how to use the Breath for cleansing the system!

If we consider our psyche, and the example I used at the top of this article, we have found that by using the Breath we can release trauma that has been embedded in the body for a life time.  The ‘freeze, flight or fight’ reaction to traumatic impact embeds or archives the event in our body and our psyche. The loss of breath associated with trauma ensures that the memory is stuck deep inside our awareness, and thus we are easily ‘triggered’ or re-minded of the trauma in later life by outside circumstances. In order to make life more bearable, we develop coping systems that protect us from the fear of aggression or trauma, and these systems then become the shell or the shield we hide behind for safety. We lose our self-confidence and freedom of expression. Our relationship with the unknown becomes fearful, and we learn to accept a life with limited potential. We may idealise hero’s and celebrities on the outside, but inside we are dominated by limiting core beliefs that tell us we are not good enough, we don’t deserve love, or we do not belong.

The simple act of breathing consciously shows us a different story. Each free and full breath opens the veils of protection, strengthens our trust in the beauty of life, and restores our self-belief.

After one breathing session an elder woman came up to me with tears in her eyes: “My husband,” she said. “For the first time in twenty-five years he told me he loves me!”

Now if we consider the Breath in a spiritual context, let us look at the word ‘inspire’, the origins of which are to imbibe spirit (in-spirit). The dictionary of etymology (or word origins) tells us c. 1300, “immediate influence of God or a god.

For those who are greedy for spiritual uplift, Breathwork is an instant way to import information from the higher realms. As we learn to breath openly and fully, keeping each cycle of breath connected to the next, we breath into new levels of trust. Once the obstacles of trauma and the mind are out of the way, and with a regular breathing practice, this new spiritual access becomes embodied, providing us with a very clear understanding that we are spiritual beings above all, and even though our journey on this material planet may be challenging at times, by simply using the Breath we can reconnect and re-pair with our true purpose.

What seemed like problems in the past take an entirely new perspective. The trauma that has limited our lives is dissolved, and we are permitted unlimited spiritual alertness. Many times after a Breathwork session I am told “I finally understand what God is.” Or, “Now I know God is everywhere, as inside as outside.” Our connection to the divine is re-stored, and we are gifted with the knowing that duality is but an illusion after all. The inner peace that comes with this awareness is a salve to the soul.

I have identified here the three levels of the breath, how it reaches our deepest subconscious through our physical body, and connects us with the higher realms. When these three levels are connected and aligned, miracles are normal. Just as when our chakra are aligned, instant healing takes place, and permanent insights replace the impermanent concepts and notions we have clung to in the past – revealed as mere illusions that have limited our relationship with life itself.

In The Training, a one year journey with The Alchemy of Breath, we focus not just on the experiential value of a Breathwork Session, but also on what happens between the sessions. How can we best integrate this new awareness into our daily lives? We use inquiry, Alchemy Meditation, exercises, and group support to unravel the tight knots we have learned to carry inside, and dismantle the old and rusty architecture that has held us back in life. The Training is also designed to bring the student to Practitioner level, and can be supplemented to become a Trainer as well. But perhaps most important of all is the understanding that we cannot provide Healing for someone else. We can only work on ourselves, and by accepting this as our truth, then we can be alongside others in their healing journey, enabling and supporting them in their own empowerment, reassuring them that our presence cannot be shaken. Healing is not just a process but a state of being, each moment offering us the choice to renew and regenerate.

My own journey to breathwork was sequential, beginning as a young man. I remember as a ten year old, when a friend handed me a paper bag and said “Breathe into that for a minute, deep long breaths.” I did as I was told and in seconds I had collapsed and ‘saw stars’. I became a father at 18 years old, and learned and coached my wife in the LeBoyer technique over the pregnancy, which contributed to a painless natural birth of my son. Over the ensuing years I explored many breath practices, including Pranayama, Sufi Breathing, Holotropic Breathwork and Rebirthing.

But it was a near death experience that finally strung all these experiences together, when I lay in bed for three months in the paralysis of pain. Breathing was all that was left. My mind sought escape. What must I learn to end the hell?  But it was the Breath that gave me the support I needed to let everything fall to pieces, all the ideas and constructs of who I thought I was. I saw the emptiness inside the success I had achieved, and I learned to turn around to look at what I feared most in my life. By finding the dark hole in the centre of my fear – not with steeliness or resolve, but with softness and surrender – I had found a portal. What seemed the end became a new beginning, and the richness of life that I had never yet seen was shown to me.

Then I knew what I had to do.

Each inhale is the embrace of life, and each exhale is the letting go. Each inhale is an opportunity to absorb the new, and each exhale the chance to let go of what no longer serves us. There was no way I could refuse the call, and even today as I facilitate groups of up to 200 people, it is easy to see those who are called to be facilitators. There is no greater gift than to bear witness to the transformation of the human soul. If you feel the call, then you are called.

We can be the change we want to see, one breath at a time.

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Anthony Abbagnano is the founder of The Community of Healing, an international organisation that promotes the union of Western medicine with all other healing modalitiesHe is also the founder of the ARK foundation in Bali Indonesia, a centre dedicated to community health and growth of consciousness. With 8 years of personal daily breathing practice, Antonio has explored many different styles of the breath, including LeBoyer, Holotropic, Transformational, Sufi Breathing, and Pranayama.
As a result of his own healing journey, including the survival and transformation from a near death health crisis, Anthony holds tender space for the depth some need in their own healing path as well as supporting the celebration of joy and ecstasy that a breathwork practice promotes. Now a Clarity Breathwork practitioner, Anthony brings his life experiences of Motivational Speaking, Clinical Hypnotherapy, Bodytalk™ Therapy, Conscious Loving and Conscious Living Life Coaching (Hendricks Institute) to the practice. He also incorporates Sound Medicine and Aromatherapy into his Breathwork practice.
Living in Europe during the summer months and on the island of Bali the rest of the year, Anthony has created The Alchemy of Breath group workshops and private sessions.
Anthony will be offering Alchemy of Breath workshops at The Bali Spirit Festival on April 1st 2016. Alchemy of Breath Video

For more information about international online and residential trainings and a free accompanied Alchemy of Breath session that you can use at home on your own, contact Anthony Abbagnano info@alchemyofbreath.com

The Alchemy of Breath is a member of The Community of Healing.

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© Lightening Magazine 2016