HEIGHTEN YOUR HOLOS
Get More From
HOLOTROPIC BREATHWORK tm
SASHA LESSIN, PH.D.
Copyright (c) 1999 by Sasha Lessin,
Ph.D. (808) 244-4103 fax 242-7021 email@example.com. All
- This book extends Holotropic Breathwork TM. In breathwork
you breathe to music and get holos--experiences,
images and insights so you grow. Holos, properly integrated,
can cure your psychic, emotional and physical ills, so you
enjoy, know and love more.
- Stanislav and Christina Grof designed Holotropic Breathwork
to access holos. Breathwork blends psychology and sacred
studies with deep breathing, evocative music, hypnosis,
focused bodywork and art therapy. (1)
- In Holotropic work, you evoke inner experiences and express
them your way. If you're healthy and happy, Grof sessions
expand your awareness; if you suffer, breathwork helps you
heal. Grof's Adventure of Self-Discovery describes breathwork
- I divide this book, Heighten Your Holos, in two parts. Part
I, "Heed Your Holos," summarizes Grof's findings.
Then Part II, "Heat Your Holos," gives rites:
contemplations for before and after you breathe to music.
Before a breathing session, pick a rite to stir your psyche.
After you complete the session, choose a rite to deepen and
integrate images you got breathing.
- Breathwork and the rites in this book free your most loving
capacity. The breathing and contemplations are safe, easy,
practical ways to discharge any pain or anger you may hold
from personal or empathized experiences. Grof breathing leaves
you placid and able to contribute more to the world.
HEED YOUR HOLOS: THE IDEAS
- You can do Holotropic Breathwork in a group setting or in
- Privately, in an individual session, a breathworker
discusses the experiences you may get, plays powerful taped
music and helps you when you ask.
- In a "holo" group, you choose another
participant as your "sitter." A breathworker plays
music while your sitter watches you breathe, then draw.
- In a holo session--private or group--when you ask, your
breathworker or sitter holds, resists, supports or wordlessly
- He (or she) offers pillows for you to stroke, kick or hit.
If needed, he protects you from bumping anything. He brings
you water, tissue, blankets, a basin or a towel and helps you
to the bathroom and back.
- Grof breathing's safe; thousands report it increased their
vitality and insight. But holotropic work does involve deep
breathing, so use common sense. If you've had heart problems,
hypertension, brain hemorrhage, psychotic tendencies, or if
you're pregnant, don't do Grof Breathwork. Don't do it when
you have a contagious disease or unhealed surgical wounds.
HOW TO DO HOLOTROPIC BREATHING
- This is how you do Holotropic Breathwork. Tell your sitter
how you'd like him or her to tend you when you breathe. Then
lie back on a mat for three hours. Close your eyes, relax each
body part. Breathe deep and fast--through throat and nose--to
music. It's simple as that.
- You visualize. Hear, smell, taste. Intuit. Feel. Move or
stay still; keep quiet or make sounds. You may laugh, cry or
jabber gibberish. Perhaps dance on your back, writhe, shake,
sweat or shiver. Some people temporarily cramp or choke as
they finish inner experiences that free them to feel good.
- When you first breathe to music, you see (behind your lids)
rich, moving colors, dazzling designs. You hear, besides the
music, inner rings, chirps, buzzes. You enjoy aromas and
tastes. For fifteen minutes, sensations shift, surprise and
fascinate you. Then you relive your life's passions, see
spiritual sagas or experience fetal feelings.
- Maybe, in your mind, you return to times of bliss. Or you
meander among memories placental and postnatal, scenes
spiritual and prosaic. You might relive labor, loves lost,
child or teen trauma. You could even relive past elapsed lives
or mythic mentations. Perhaps you meet guides and gods, Gaia
- Breathers with repressed images may rerun times they almost
died, or times they imprinted problems, upsets or urges. Some
relive times they poisoned their minds, bodies or relations,
thwarted or hurt themselves. They release their feelings and
drop harmful habits tied to those times. By the end of the
session, most breathers feel resolved and peaceful. A few
breathers need another session in the next few days.
- Usually, however, when you've holoed a few hours, you relax.
If not, you can simply intensify your discomfort and release
it. You may want your sitter or breathworker to press your
tight points. If you wish, a breathworker will guide you to
inner dialogue or further imaging, till you resolve emotions
you stirred up when you breathed.
- Then you draw and discuss your experience. Perhaps you
act-out the drawing's parts.
- In a group-setting, when you finish drawing, you change
roles with your sitter. He breathes while you practice
concentration, compassion and nonjudgment.
- You usually finish a session resolved, nourished, healed.
Almost certainly, if you participate in a series of sessions,
you end up feeling loving, peaceful, flowing, spiritual,
inspired, sexually-responsive, appreciative, expanded in
outlook, more integrated. [CONTENTS]
THE MASTER MATRIX
- Relax. Feel your limits. Meet challenges. Win. Relax again.
Flow through this sequence--the master matrix--and you mature
and grow. Dr. Grof found the matrix while he treated
psychotics, neurotics, criminals, alcoholics, addicts,
clerics, professionals, geniuses and normals with psychedelic
and holotropic therapy. He saw the matrix also in the world's
great spiritual traditions, shamanic lore and experiences of
- You'll get to know the matrix too, if you flow through it in
a Grof breathwork session. Flowing through the matrix feels
good. You'll especially enjoy the "relax" and
"win" parts of the matrix.
- Some breathers see and release images they repressed, images
from "feel your limits" and "meet
challenges." They release the images and stop creating
events in their lives to stand for these images.
- As a fetus, you floated, compressed, experienced labor, then
delivered. The modules of the matrix--relaxation, feeling
limits, struggling and winning--echo these fetal phases.
- Probably, your first months alive, you relaxed--safe,
satisfied, at one with the womb. You and the womb met each
other's needs. Your relation showed how you and others can
join, share, love, sate, open-up.
- When you holobreathe and access the relaxation module, you
seem tiny again, floating in fluid. Your head feels big as
your body. You suck your fingers, rub your cord and genitals;
you again hear Mom's heart and inner gurgles. Mostly, you like
floating, though Mom's ills, drinks, diet, coitus, pelvic
exams and noise-exposure temporarily upset you.
- Sometimes, however, a breather holos the prenatal
paradise--and, by extension, all potentially relaxing
situations--as ruined. Ruined if mother drank, smoked,
snorted, sickened, raged, shot-up, took abuse, wished she
weren't pregnant, almost miscarried or tried to abort. Ruined
if she worked in noise or stress, if she felt tense, unhappy
or unloved. A breather experiencing a ruined floating phase
first expresses discomfort, then realizes how the experience
still generates expectations that spoil his or her ability to
relax. The breather finally ends this inability to relax when
he or she holos a good womb or other paradise.
- Most likely though, when you holo the relaxation module, you
watch or sense yourself--or something standing for
you--floating. Then you feel holy, peaceful, joyous, timeless,
boundless, free; empty yet full of potential. Perhaps you
picture beautiful art and nurturing nature. You can see or be
an anemone, seaweed, jellyfish, fish or whale, astronaut or
bird, gold or gems.
- Relaxation holos revive times, after birth, when life
matched the good womb, times Mom nursed and loved you, happy
times with family, friends, nature, times you lost boundaries
in love, swimming, psychedelics or sex with a beloved.
- Maybe, holoing relaxation, you visit pastlives--human,
animal, plant, planetary or cosmic--when you knew oceanic
ecstasy, symbiosis, unity, peace. Or you know nirvana; you
merge with archetypes, deities or the Universe.
- The months before labor, you outgrew the womb. It pressed;
sometimes it squeezed, scrunched-off oxygen, food, warmth,
contact. You and Mom hurt each other.
- Breathers who relive this stage of gestation feel trapped,
lonely, hopeless, helpless, useless, guilty, sad. They get
temporary headaches; their ears ring with pressure and they
find it hard to breathe. Some chill and shiver, flush and
sweat or their organs hurt. They may even throw-up into a bag,
simultaneously purging emotions.
- When holos of the "limits" module command
breathers' attention, they see sinister colors, see life as
futile, ending in death. They feel anxious and scared, then
depressed and apathetic. They might remember when they gave up
and gave in, when closed places confined, surgeons sliced,
accidents hurt, disease struck, war ravaged them. They could
relive times they lacked rest, food or water; times they
almost suffocated or drowned, or couldn't eat or eliminate. Or
they may recall when they couldn't leave or fight their
families, when people left, caged, mocked, shunned or sexually
frustrated them. They may see sex scenes that shame, disgust
or bore them.
- They keep breathing to the music and realize how unconscious
"limits" impulses held them back their whole lives.
Feeling and understanding these impulses lets breathers stop
limiting themselves. They realize compression scripts ran them
when they despaired, lost interest, gave themselves migraines,
needed alcohol or drugs.
- Some breathers realize when they'd yearned to kill
themselves to escape hopeless feelings, they'd imagined death
would feel like floating in the womb (the prior module).
Breathers who had suicidal impulses from the limits module
usually considered suicide by freezing, overdosing, drowning
or gassing themselves or cutting their wrists under warm
water. But now, in holotropic breathing, they see the origin
of their death-wish and drop it. A breather holoing the limits
module may see victims of war, Inquisition, Nazis, epidemics,
fatal childbirth; or see freaks, monsters, skeletons, insane
asylum inmates, dead deserts, winter- lands. Or picture prior
lives, tales of eternal torture, the suffering of Jesus,
Sisyphus or Prometheus.
- Some breathers again feel the womb shove them against the
cervix, which opens. They may symbol this as falling into a
whirlpool, volcano or labyrinth. A crocodile, octopus, spider,
whale or boa snatches them. Dark skies, swamps or storms
symbol impending labor.
- You feel hope when you remember the cervix opening. You and
Mom worked together to push you out; you learned cooperation.
You learned to fight for better conditions.
- And you learned rage, as contractions of 100 pounds per inch
gripped your skull. The canal clamped your jaw shut, cut off
warmth and oxygen when the cord looped or caught between you
and it. You identified with it and learned power.
- Experiences you may have if you holo from the
challenge-labor module can be temporarily unpleasant. When,
however, you fully feel them in breathwork, you'll forever
deal better with challenges. When you holo and resolve this
module, you can struggle, win and enjoy success without
starting a new struggle right away.
- If you holo this module, you could feel like an elephant
slowly steps on your head, then sits on your body. At the same
time, you might feel hot and sexy. You could tremble, twitch,
jerk, shake, twist, slither, chill or sweat. Finally, you
build, then you explode energy and pain. Then you need no
longer create undue struggle for yourself. Holoing in this
module, you relive danger. You could remember when you
parachuted, sky-dived, risked the high board, waged war,
fought hand-to-hand, competed in sports. Anon you might hunt
animals, race cars, ride tossing horses, ships or planes.
- You could see struggle symbols; fierce forces fight.
Torturers, portraying the contracting canal, punish
victims--who represent your frightened-fetus feelings.
Enormous energies erupt. Visualize volcanos, tornadoes,
hurricanes, tidal waves, explosions, rocket blasts, lightning,
air raids, novas, quakes, floods. Armies, demons and gods
battle. Atlantis, Pompeii, Hiroshima, Sodom or Earth die.
- Scenes of sacrifice, suicide, massacre, execution,
crucifixion, mutilation, murder and torture might torment and
tantalize you. Perhaps you'll feel and fight the Hitler, Abu
Nidal, witch, devil, werewolf, tiger, monster and boa within
you. Tyrants and rebels echo the struggle of canal and babe.
- Holoing these images lets you stop symbolically playing the
sadistic canal or the suffering fetus. Holos from the struggle
module implode impulses you might unconsciously harbor to
hang, shoot, suffocate and violently kill yourself. Likewise,
holos from labor can consume ulcer-causing conflicts, asthma,
psoriasis, migraines, paralysis, tics and stammering.
- A breather holoing mixed feelings toward an authority (from
a toilet trainer to God) realizes authorities stand for
feelings from the canal. When, struggling toward birth, a
fetus felt strangled, it also felt aroused. It sensed its
mother's sexual arousal too as it pushed through her vagina.
There, some breathers realize, they linked sex and struggle.
Now, in breathwork, they exhaust their sexual struggle images
and stop associating sex with struggle.
- These breathers may first need to holo drunk, stoned,
sensual, promiscuous parties, carnivals or orgies. They may
recall seducing, abusing, raping or witnessing such scenes or
image primitive and satanic revels, fertility rites, temple
prostitution, bacchanalian dancing. Behind their closed lids,
they may see chimeras charade sex, struggle, bondage,
bullying, beating, debauchery, suffering, strangulation,
sensuality, ecstasy and spirituality.
- When a breather exhausts the struggle and labor images, he
or she also whips sadistic sex-urges and purges symptoms that
screen the urges: trouble climaxing or staying erect.
- In breathwork, some breathers sense or symbol themselves
sliding, as they did in labor, through blood, urine, feces,
fetal liquid. They holo later scenes of blood and wastes, sex
mixed with feces or urine. Then they stop seeking symbolic
scatological sex and end fear of body parts and wastes.
- If anesthetic invaded labor, holoing may stimulate you to
smell, feel and taste the drug again. You realize that,
anesthetized, you missed labor's lesson--you can struggle and
win. You may see how you consequently quit too soon or drug
yourself with alcohol, cocaine or narcotics.
- A breather may begin curing addiction and quitting by
reliving drugged labor, then pushing against sitters' hands,
enacting undrugged labor.
- A breather may image prior lives echoing labor. The breather
sees some lives when a bully--analogous to the
canal--humiliated, raped, terrorized and murdered him or her.
In other lives, the breather hated, avenged and killed the
bully. The breather sees who, in life now, represents this
rival. The breather forgives self and antagonist for
pastlives, thereby ending tension, anger, envy, hate or
obsessive lust toward this rival.
- Some breathers relive the heat of labor. Just before birth,
the baby stretched its own and its mother's tissues till their
nerves sizzled. A breather holoing heat may see torched towns,
flaring forests and witches searing at the stake, then drop
his or her fire fixation. A breather who had an elective,
nonlabor cesarean birth missed compression and struggle
through the canal and so lacks a prenatal model for bearing
and overcoming adversity. A cesarean-born breather might
remember anesthesia, surgical cuts into the placenta, gloved
hands lifting him or her through a bloody opening. He or she
suddenly felt his or her body's weight. Holoing, a
cesarean-born may remember later situations where he or she
couldn't cope with obstacles, get excited or struggle.
Cesarean birth left the person confused on where to fit in
life and what to expect from people. He or she may have
treated the world as an all-providing womb and always asked
for more from others. The cesarean-born didn't always get what
he or she wanted, and alternated between demanding and
- Someone who holos cesarean birth can learn to feel limits
and successfully struggle. Some cesarean-born breathers push
their heads between their sitters' hands. The breathers later
say pushing through the hands simulated their lost chance to
struggle down the birth-canal.
- When you behold a bird that burns, reforms, then flies, you
holo birth, triumph, rebirth.
- Birth freed you from terrible tension. Blood flowed to your
lungs. They unfolded and took over for the cut cord, trading
oxygen and carbon dioxide.
- If you holo birth, you may gasp for breath, twitch, lose
pressure outside your body. Your navel and genitals could
- Holoing birth, a breather may experience ego-death: an end
to thinking of himself or herself as only a thinker, body, or
player of roles. Ego-death feels terrible for a time, but
turns into intense joy. To a breather, ego-death may feel like
his or her body's dying. He or she may flashback
failures--emotional, moral, physical and mental--feeling
small, grasping for status, money, things, power over others.
Now, holoing ego-death, the breather can surrender vanity. He
or she may holo death and sacrifice, Shiva, Christ, Dionysus,
Moloch, Kali; Herod and Hitler murder babies as the breather's
facade killed his or her real self.
- Birth holos are delightful if Mom--undrugged,
mellow--welcomed you. Gentle friends helped; Dad held her and
you. You breathed before anyone cut the cord. Helpers bathed
you and laid you at Mom's breast, next to the heartbeats you'd
- But birth modeled life as painful if the cord choked you or
you came too soon or late, or feet, arm or bottom first.
Perhaps forceps or mishap hurt you, diminishing your trust in
life. If your birth was difficult, you holo it, first as it
was, then as you wished it. Enacting birth as you wanted it
gives you new hope and trust.Birth trauma which breathers holo
was often doctor-caused. From 1930 to 1970, a doctor routinely
drugged a woman and, incidentally, her baby. With forceps or
rubber gloves, a doctor pulled the infant from the dark, 98ø
canal into a blinding, 72ø room. Too soon he cut the cord,
spanked the baby while it gasped for air the cord would've
given. Nurses cleaned, weighed and displayed the newborn. The
mother was only allowed to hold it briefly; but before it
could bond with her, the staff stowed it in a box.
- If the mother didn't breastfeed, she denied the child
antibodies to kill germs. If she didn't nestle the baby, she
kept it from the comfort of her heartbeat. The father missed
bonding too if barred from the birth.
- Holobreathing, you return to birth, its resonances and
symbols. Perhaps you escape sharks, beasts or human menaces;
survive accidents, illness, surgery, storms, earthquakes,
tidal waves, air raids, wars. Or return to reunions,
reconciliations, revelations, sunrises, celebrations,
delivering your babies, repose following orgasm, the downfall
of tyrants and corrupt presidents. You may picture a hero
vanquish a menace; St. George slays the dragon, Persus the
Medusa. God defeats Satan; Thor, the giants; good, evil. Unite
with Mother Goddesses, Mary, Isis, Parvati, Hera, your
innermost, divine source, the sun, the tao.
- You could behold brilliant white or radiant golden light,
rainbows, peacock designs, Spring. Maybe you image majestic
halls, mountains, valleys, meadows, lakes, oceans. Or watch
glaciers crack, snow melt and flow as water; birds hatch,
trees blossom, animals bear and feed their young. Reach the
peak. Triumph--purified, redeemed, cleansed, sacred, safe,
- After you experience ego-death and birth in breathwork, you
appreciate yourself, your mate, sitters, friends, relatives,
humanity, nature, the Universe. You enjoy the newness and
beauty you see, hear, taste, feel, smell. You thrill to the
music. Now beauty, justice, service, self-love, respect for
others and divine purpose guide you. [CONTENTS]
HEAT YOUR HOLOS: THE RITES
- Rites help you evoke and use holotropic images. Rites help
you integrate present (subselves, body, dreams), past
(childhood scripts, birth, gestation, pastlives), future (life
purpose, death) and the spiritual (archetypes, guiding myths
and unity consciousness).
- The day before you breathe to music, use a rite to stimulate
you for your adventure the next day.
- Do a rite with a breathworker, therapist or friend. Or
- Sometimes I guide breathers in a rite minutes before they
start holotropic breathing.
- The day after breathwork, pick rites to integrate and expand
your experience. [CONTENTS]
CONQUER CURRENT CONCERNS
- In this section you celebrate your subselves, mind your body
and delve dreams.
CELEBRATE YOUR SUBSELVES (2)
- Some of your personality aspects--subselves or
"subs"--resonate the modules of the master matrix
(relax, feel limits, struggle, triumph). "Bliss"
subselves express the relaxation module. Limits show in your
"Sadsack" subs. "Rambo" and "Whoopie"
reflect challenge and triumph.
- When you relax or feel loving oneness with others you live
from a BLISS sub. You play a Pax part like Mellow Fellow,
Content Lover, or Mediator.
- A SADSACK sub dominates you when you feel trapped, doomed,
depressed, hopeless, sad, limited. You worry, drink.
- RAMBO--struggle subs--include your Hero, Striving
Businessperson, Critic or Athlete.
- WHOOPIE comes out as Star, Joyous Dancer, Escaper.
- When you holo, you accept and understand the dance of Bliss,
Sadsack, Rambo and Whoopie. Relax, feel your limits, meet
challenges, win, relax again. Enjoy repose (Bliss), know when
you need change (Sadsack), choose challenges (Rambo), triumph
over trials (Whoopie), savor victory (Bliss).
- Sometimes Bliss, Sadsack, Rambo and Whoopie subs compete or
demand destructive deeds. But they all need cooperation and
love. They need you to notice, protect and include them in
your life rhythm. If you meet their needs, your subs enhance
each other, you as a whole, other people and the planet.
- But suppose you ignore Sadsack and refuse to see how you
cage yourself. Or maybe you push inner struggles (Rambo) from
your mind. If you deny your sad and mad feelings, you get
other people to make you sad and mad. You make the world
warrant what you repress.
- If you suppress Sadsack, you find people to make you feel
guilty, hopeless, sad, caught. If you repress Rambo, you
create situations that justify compulsive competition; you
- So don't let depression and inner struggle--Sadsack and
Rambo repressed--drive you. Instead, feel them in the rite on
the next page, in breathwork and day-to-day. Integrate the
dissatisfaction of Sadsack and power of Rambo with the love of
Bliss and joy of Whoopie.
- Picture one of your BLISS subs.
- Identify with it; as it, say your name and what you're
like. Tell what you want and what you like to do. Say what
you'd do if you dominated the breather.
- Be your Inner Witness. As Witness, ask the Bliss sub why
it wants what it wants.
- Change to Bliss and reply. Say what makes you need what
- See one of your SADSACK subs next. Turn into it; tell
your name. Describe your existence, what you do, what you want
and why. Share the deep needs that fuel your wants.
- Let your RAMBO and WHOOPIE subs speak to you like your
Bliss and Sadsack subs did.
- Alternate as Bliss, Sadsack, Rambo and Whoopie subs. As
each, speak of sharing life with the other three.
- Express yourself as one then another sub. As each, make
conflicting demands for your whole personality.
- Resolve the conflict. As each sub, say how your deep
needs complement the others' needs. Discuss ways you can help
the others, how they can help you.
- Shift to Witness and tell your subs how to cooperate.
MIND YOUR BODY
- You could, in a breathing session, experience delightful
rushes of energy up your spine, lively tingling, warmth,
relaxation. You might dance ecstatically on your back.
- Sometimes a breather experiences temporary physical tension,
a hand-cramp, for example. He may remember or imagine hurt,
surgery or repressed impulses in his hand. Perhaps he realizes
he wanted to strike out, play music, write, create art, reach
for people. Now, in the session, he reaches out. His cramp's
gone. So's his outgrown inhibition.
- Do the rite, "Soma Speaks," to prepare for body
messages in breathwork. After a breathwork session, use the
rite to expand what you learned.
EXERCISE: SOMA SPEAKS
- Notice an area of your body that hurts, tenses or worries
you. Let the feelings you get from it grow. If numb, deaden it
more. If tense, tighten more. If it hurts, let the pain grow.
Imagine the area holds a stifled emotion or impulse to move.
- Imagine you shrink to Little You, small enough to enter
one of your body's orifices or pores. Enter the orifice and go
to the area you noticed.
- Notice its shape, its energy. Note its color,
temperature, smell, how tight it is. Do something to
it. Ask why it makes you hurt, tense or numb. Ask what it
wants from you.
- Identify with the area. As it, react and discuss your
attributes, what you want and need.
- Be Little You. Ask the area if it's angry with you. Ask
if it can help you. Ask it, "How do I depend on
- Play the area and respond. Identify again with Little
You. Ask, "For whom do you speak? Tell me your
- Be it; reply.
- Be Little You and go to another part of your body, a part
you would enjoy visiting. Dialogue with that part.
- Exit the body. Get big again.
- Reflect on what you learned.
- Dreams and holotropic images reflect the same psychic
impulses. To coordinate and facilitate conscious emergence of
these impulses, decipher your dreams before and after Grofwork.
Talk with figments of your dreams, see holos there, feel
- Recall and tell a dream as though it's happening now.
While you narrate, see, hear, feel and relive the dream
(example, "The ape chases me up a tree ...").
- Note all the dream's images, background and foreground (e.g.,
ape, tree, ground and teller).
- Choose a background image (e.g., tree). Enact
the image you selected. In its voice, tell about
yourself in the dream.
- As the background image, talk to a central image
(e.g., the ape or you, the dreamer).
- Shift your body, change to the central image and
- Act-out a talk between the central and background images;
gesture, sound and speak as each.
- Now play a third dream image. Describe
yourself as the third image. Then speak to a forth image.
- Shift your body, switch to the forth image and reply.
- Act-out a talk between the third and forth images.
- One-by-one, speak as each of the rest of the images you
dreamed. Role-play dialogues among them. Imagine a mysterious
dream image (e.g., ape or tree) has a zipper on its
mask [or a bark, for a tree--make metaphors match images].
- Unzip the zipper [or peel the bark] and reveal
- Speak to this person.
- Change into her or him, respond and state your
- Shift to dreamer again and talk with the person beneath
the unzipped image.
- Continue the dream beyond what you dreamed.
- Play each new image. As each, give a message to the
- Assume all dream-images picture you. Say what you learned
about yourself from this exploration.
PACIFY THE PAST
- As you continue holotropic breathwork, you may find less of
your holos concern your immediate existence. Your holos,
instead, tend to turn to the earlier biographical roots of
- You can, using rites in this section, highlight and
integrate holos involving your life history.
FINISH FAREWELLS (3)
- Breathwork can bring up feelings, impulses, attitudes,
self-limiting beliefs and decisions based on a former
relation--with a friend, lover, parent, child, pet, boss,
- If you do "Finish Farewells," the next rite,
before a breathwork session, you may get holos the next day
that release more fear, anger and pain tied up with the
relation. If you do the rite after you've imaged someone in
breathwork, the rite helps you leave limits you'd attached to
him or her.
- Conjure X, a person or pet with whom you have unexpressed
feelings or unresolved issues. See X on an empty seat before
you. Tell X how you feel toward him or her.
- Tell X your unfinished business with him or her. Express
more than you did before.
- Now sit on the empty seat and play X. As him or her,
describe your life. Respond to the unfinished business.
- Change back to yourself. Sit again on your original seat;
finish this sentence, till you find no more finishes: "X,
I resent ..."
- Tell X what you wanted from him or her.
- Finish: "I forgive you for ..."
- "I forgive myself for ..."
- "I appreciate you for ..."
- Say, "Goodbye."
- Say it again. Say it two more times.
- Reflect on what you learned from the relation.
PRUNE PARENTS' PROGRAM (4)
- When you do holotropic breathwork, you may realize you
copied some of your parents' traits. You probably love some
traits you copied--maybe Mom's manners or Dad's humor.
- You could also have copied traits you'd like to change. If
so, try the rites in this section. They're based on the
Fischer-Hoffman Process. They explore your mother's model,
then father's. Then they let you reprogram yourself.
- Do "Prune Parents' Program" rites before or after
a breathwork session. Do them when you get childhood memories
or feelings about your parents.
- When you complete these rites, you'll love and forgive your
parents and yourself. You'll leave your parents' limits
- The rites for clearing with your parents have many parts;
take as much time as you need to do them.
- To prepare for the rites in this section, answer the
questions below. Then, in the rites called "Mark
Maladaptive Models," "The Bad Side of My History
with Mom," "Release Resentments," "Say
Secrets," and "Finish Feelings," discharge hurt
or anger associated with her. In "Let Out Longing,"
"Admit Adopting Her Attitudes," "Feel
Her," and "Love Her" you heal and forgive.
ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS
- Ask yourself if your mother wanted you. Did she want you
born the sex you are or the other sex? Did she treat you like
a bouquet or a burden? Did she ignore you or leave you to
others? Did you delight her?
- Did she show you love you felt? Make time for you? Did she
die or desert you? If so, do you still hurt inside?
- Did she teach you to get along with or struggle against your
siblings? Did she displace you with other kids or show
- How well did she ready you for school and react to your
grades, sports, plays and clubs? Did she encourage you or
criticize and withhold praise? Did she use your successes to
win status from her friends? Attend visitor's day at school?
- How joyous did she make your birthdays and holidays? How did
she react to your gifts to her?
- Did she hit you, ignore your misdeeds, stop speaking to you,
threaten God's wrath or leave discipline to Dad? Did she teach
you to deny mistakes? Or did she lovingly help you shape your
behavior while respecting your integrity and self-esteem?
- When you ailed, did she lovingly care for you? Or make you
feel guilty? Did she reward illness as a way to get
- What attitudes toward men and marriage did she model? Did
she belittle or praise Dad? Did she model equality or
submissiveness in marriage?
- Did she enjoy or was she jealous of your friends? Did she
let you pick them, or did she pick them, teaching you to
distrust your judgement? Did she demonstrate tolerance or
- Did she laugh and play with you, or withdraw, tense or mope?
MARK MALADAPTED MODELS
- If any of the words below fit your mother, put a red
check by them. Use other colors for other mother-figures you
MARK MALADAPTED MODELS
|Put self down
|Assumed others' guilt
||Nasty to others
|Demanded love all the time
||Put kids down
||Thought for others
|Disappointed in mate
||Disappointed in kids
||Hypersensitive to criticism
||Hid cowardliness hidden under mask
||Tried to make everything OK
||Rejected people and ideas for being
||Obsessed with fashion
||Assumed others' values
||Championed silly or hopeless causes
|Hid behind humor
||Smiled to hide hurt
||Hid anger under smile
||Obsessed with duty
||Saw sex as exploitation
||Sexual or body shame
||Ugly (say how)
||Put up a front
||Too sexually aggressive
||Unable to empathize
|Scared of people
||Thought sex vulgar
||Lived for afterlife
||Lived through others
||Did sex as duty
||Didn't enjoy sex
||Unable to discuss sex
||Addicted to gurus
||Unable to take action
|Addicted to therapies
||Explained and excused
|Escaped in sleep
||Always in hurry
||Gave double messages
||Had to earn everything
|Pretended everything OK
||Afraid to speak in groups
||Feared others' religions
||Gave then withdrew love
|Wouldn't ask help
||Feared others' judgments
|Judged me for ________
|Hated being hugged
||Made points citing allies
||Rewarded and punished with sex
||Projected feelings on others
|Uncomfortable being man/woman
THE BAD SIDE OF MY HISTORY WITH MOM
- Write "The Bad Side of My History with
Mom"--your unpleasant memories of her. Emphasize her
negative side; raise your ire.
- Use fists, a tennis racket, baseball bat or rubber hose
to pound a pillow. Each time you pound, yell, "Mother, I
resent you for ..." (Complete.)
- List things you hid from her.
- Imagine Mom sits before you.
- Tell her your secrets.
- Then sit on her seat and play her. As her, respond.
- Dialogue about the secrets; alternate in her role and
- Finish, to her, "I haven't resolved ..."
Let Out Longing
- Tell her what you wanted and needed from her.
- Say all you longed and hoped for from her.
Admit Adopting Her Attitudes
- Realize how you copied her. List the bad traits you got
- Deepen your understanding of her so you forgive and love
- Maybe she gave you less affection, support, freedom and
encouragement than you wanted. But put yourself in her place.
Then you drop your anger, work through conflicts keeping you
apart and forgive her.
- Identify with Mom when she was 13. Begin with, "I'm
... (her first name) and my life's like ... (Describe it.)
"I got this way, because ..."
- As her, say whether and how you felt loved. Tell how the
people in your family got and get along, how your parents
taught you to get along with your brothers and sisters.
- Relate how you fared at school. Say how your parents
treated your friends.
- Tell your child-to-be how your parents led you to raise
him or her. What flaws marred their teaching?
- Be you again. Tell your 13-year-old Mom-to-be how your
first 13 years compared to hers. Ask how her early years led
her to treat you.
- Switch to her and answer.
- Imagine Mom died. If she already died, recall or imagine
- See her coffin closing and think of the hopes, dreams and
loves she cherished as a child. See the girl in her closed
into the coffin.
- As you see her buried or her ashes housed or scattered,
think of how her life turned out. Consider what she wanted and
whether she got it.
- Finish this: "Mother, I forgive you for ..."
- Tell her what you appreciate; say her good traits.
- Relive the good side of your history together.
- Notice any of Mom's habits and attitudes you gladly adopt
as your own.
- Imagine you and she both 13. Play, frolic, skip, share
- If true, say, "Mother, I love you."
- Visit, call or write her (or speak to her spirit). Tell
her kindly about finishing your feelings toward her.
DEAL WITH DAD
- Notice notions and mannerisms you derived from Dad.
- Remember if any of his habits helped or hurt you. If you
fought them, you may have become his opposite instead of your
- To empower the rites for clearing your father's program in
you, assume that, to the degree he didn't fully love, satisfy
and support Mom and you kids, he embittered, chilled her; made
her cold, phony or critical.
- Did Dad deem you a blessing, accident or burden?
- Did he want you male or female? Want you to do what he
- Did he make you meet his standards? Compete with you?
- If you're female, did he ignore you, teach you males counted
more? Did he model men as cold, distant or babyish?
- Did you and Dad hug, play, talk, listen and love as you
wanted? Did he heed only his, Mom's or the other kids' needs
and ignore yours?
- Did he parent or just pay for and police you. Or leave you
- Did he avoid, fear, bully, put down, or humor Mom? Did he
grovel? The way he treated her showed you how to act with
women. Did he openly hug, kiss, and compliment her?
- How he treated you and the other kids started your attitudes
toward authority. Did he dictate, stifle spontaneity?
- Did he hit, confine or abuse you, Mom, your brothers or
sisters? Did he, with love, help you learn right from wrong?
- Did he always decide what you'd do together? Or always let
you have your way? Or combine guidance and flexibility?
- Did he cheer and enjoy you and your siblings or judge, mock
or just tolerate you.
- Did he emphasize grades too much? Did he care?
- Did he see you only when you misbehaved? Did he make you
compete with the other kids? Favor you or them? Was he fair?
- Good provider? Or did he make you beg for money? Did he
discuss family finances so you mastered money?
- Did Dad demand Mom love only him, while he had other women?
Was he happy married to Mom? What view of sex did he give? How
did he react to your puberty and interest in sex? What did he
teach you to expect in relations?
- Did he overwork? Work poorly? Balance work and play?
- Did he laugh lots?
- Did he leave or die early, making you deal with a stepdad or
Mom's lovers who modeled negative traits for you to adopt or
- Use the same checklist of maladapted mannerisms (pages
30-35) you used for Mom's to mark Dad's. Check each trait
of his. Use different colors for each man in charge of you.
- Write the unhappy side of your history with him.
- Release your anger toward him.
- Tell him your withholds.
- Relate your longing and unmet needs.
- Tell him how you got his bad traits.
- Pretend you and he, both 13 years-old, talk. First, play
him. Tell your child (you) how your folks raised you that led
you to parent as you did.
- Compare your 13-year-old lives.
- Play Dad and tell your child the trouble you had raising
him or her.
- Be you again. Tell Dad what you appreciate.
- Tell him what you forgive him for.
- See him buried and feel warmth for him. Tell him you love
- Make a list of his good traits and any of his habits you
want as yours.
- Relive the good side of your life with him.
- Talk with him in person, if possible.
- Clear, as you did for Mom and Dad, with each person in
charge of you as you grew. Purge your negative feelings toward
PLAY IT AGAIN WITH LOVE
- Relive an upset you had as an infant or later in life.
- What did you feel? Feel it now. Express that emotion.
Tell and show people involved in the upset how you feel.
- What'd you decide as a result of the upset?
- What'd you gain from this decision?
- What would you like to do that you didn't do?
- Rerun the scene aloud, the way you'd like it to have
been. If you do it with a partner, have him or her play the
other person involved in your upset the way you wanted. Do
what you'd have liked to.
- Forgive yourself and the other person.
- What'd you learn? Sum it up; affirm what you learned.
- Imagine living from what you affirm instead what you
UNITE ADULT AND CHILD (5)
- Imagine yourself a reasonable adult in a safe, private,
pretty place free of bad energy.
- As Adult, tell the Brat in you, "I've purged the
passion that made you misbehave. So stop blaming Mom and Dad
for your immaturity."
- Tell Brat what you resent and demand of him or her.
- Play Brat; respond. Tell Adult your gripes.
- Alternate roles between Adult and Brat; air their cares.
- Imagine white light pours on Brat, changing him to a
- As Adult, take Child on your lap. Ask Child to teach you
- Fantasize playing together.
- Enact an excited, friendly, fun-loving five-year-old.
Play ring-around-the-rosies, follow-the-leader,
pass-the-apple, hide-and-seek, duck-duck-goose, freeze tag,
jump-rope, doctor. Play spontaneously.
- Imagine your Child entering a warm, safe room in your
- Touch your heart whenever you wish to invoke him or her.
PARENT YOURSELF (6)
- Consider "C," one of your conflicts--one that
doesn't involve your real parents.
- Fantasize a MODEL MOM, perfect every way. She always
cherishes the babe, child, teen and adult within you. She
adores your fantasy father and reacts always with archetypal
- Portray her; tell your traits.
Tell your child (you) how you feel toward him or her.
- Counsel your child how to relate to "C". Hold
the child close and let him or her feel your love, absorb your
- Change back to you and get Mom's gifts.
- Picture PERFECT POP--wise, warm, fair, protective,
encouraging. He adores the child in you and worships your
- Act him. Describe your qualities. Tell your child how you
feel toward him or her.