This is a fascinating view of one persons continuing journey toward enlightenment and some of the paths he trod during the process.

Note: it ain't over... ever (my addition).

When I was a yogi, my spiritual gurus told me I would find happiness and true bliss by focusing on the breath.

They told me how the breath was marvelous. They said it would liberate me from my emotions, suffering, and attachments.

My teachers spoke of great yogis who found happiness when they evolved into breatharians, people who survive only on the breath, conquering even their need to eat. They spoke of gurus who had mastered the breath so completely, that they breathed only once every thousand years, sitting motionless in blissful nirvana.

They said that one day, even I could conquer my need to breathe so frequently.

From the very first yoga class I attended, my teachers told me to focus on the breath. I assumed breathwork was just a simple way to deepen my Downward Dog. I thought the breath was a new approach to stress relief.

Instead, as I advanced in my practice, I realized breathwork was something more. It was a spiritual practice. Spiritual breathing is an entire branch of yoga, called pranayama. Pranayama, they said, would lead me to discover the oneness of all things.

My teachers said that pranayama was the key to awareness, and to bliss.

Well, I faithfully tried to master my breath for a really long time because I wanted to be a guru. I imagined the glory of breathing a thousand year breath. The elusive state of bliss fascinated me, and I wanted to be the special person to reach it.
Read on for the continuation of John's spiritual adventure...

How trying to reach Enlightenment & Bliss kind of Ruined my Life. — by John Imme