My mother had tuberculosis when she was a young woman. She recovered after a two-year battle for her life. When I was born 10 years later, I tested positive for TB. Though I never had any symptoms, it was a concern during my childhood. To top it off, my father died from lung cancer at a relatively young age (he smoked a pipe). I live in Los Angeles, which is not pristine, though living where I do, in the higher altitude hills surrounded by nature and trees, is helpful. I have always believed that it is best to cover your weaknesses in life. Obviously, my lungs have always been a target of my attention. Furthermore, as I have learned in many ways, “breath is life.” Almost all of us have heard of his famous Zen koan: “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” It was the great Zen master Hakuin who created this koan. His practices still form much of the core of Zen Buddhism as it is practiced in Japan and around the world today. Hakuin also taught a meditation routine that included these words:
“Upon a single breath repeat three times the words: ‘Of the essentials of preserving life, nourishing the breath has no peer. When the breath is exhausted the body dies’.”
All the gurus and masters throughout history have concurred and present the same simple truth. It is clear that every spiritual practice on earth has involved deep breathing, whether it be through breath control, chanting or the singing of hymns or sutras. I believe that mastering one’s breath is a key to mastering life. Through our breath, we can control our emotions. As a practitioner of Asian-style “life cultivation,” and “Taoist inner yoga,” I know that my lungs are the primary organ system that produces Qi in my body. This Qi feeds my consciousness and my life force.
I consciously and proactively nurture my lung health, breathing power and breath-control every day of my life. I do about 15-30 minutes of concerted, focused deep breathing every day, sometimes much more (weekends and vacations). To support this, I take tonic herbs that benefit my lungs every single day. Golden Air™ is my go-to foundation of tonic herbalism for my lungs and breathing. You might as well know, I originally made this formula for myself. I have a deep appreciation for Tibetan Rhodiola, Schizandra, Astragalus and American Ginseng, all of which are profound lung tonic herbs – undoubtedly at the top of the class in the entire world. Tibetan Rhodiola increases oxygen assimilation. Schizandra extracts oxygen from air in my lungs and helps keep my lungs moist, clear, clean and in tip-top shape. Astragalus root enhances breathing power and strengthens my diaphragm. This formula provides me with the herbal sustenance I need to support the tissues of my respiratory system and to protect me. Taking this formula gives me great confidence. I often do my breathing routines 30 minutes after taking Golden Air™. Then I chant: ‘Of the essentials of preserving life, nourishing the breath has no peer. When my breath is exhausted my body will die.’ Then I take multiple deep breathes.
Note: Sometimes I take a bottle of Young Lungs home with me, especially during the long dry summer months in Southern California, as Young Lungs is slightly more oriented to keeping the lung tissues moist.