A drawing experiment
This experiment began as a calming and stabilising exercise. It uses the basic instructions of a pranayama practice: breath in – four counts, retain the breath – four counts, breath out – four counts, retain the breath – four counts. Keep repeating. Retaining the breath is not a holding of the breath; retaining is without tension. Each of the four stages is the same length. When I was first taught this practice it was accompanied by visualising a line going up with the inbreath, across with retaining the breath, down with the out breath, across with retaining the breath – four visualized lines, a perfect square. I applied this to the act of drawing.
Around this time the procedure for the drawing experiment In and out breath was developing with the inclusion of deviations, produced accidentally though slips of the pen or lapses of concentration, with these changes from a straight line being maintained when another line was drawn alongside. I brought this procedure to 4 breath accumulations. Following the deviations produced a cutting through the square. Over time each of the four stages of the drawing produced a longer line – and needed a longer breath stage.
Gradually I developed four steps for lengthening the breath stages:
Stage 1: in, retain, out, retain
Stage 2: in, out, in, out
Stage 3: in & retain, out & retain, in & retain, out & retain
Stage 4: in & out, in & out, in & out, in & out
I’m continuing to experiment with stages of deviation.
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