ZPB Client Conversation part 1 (of 2)
Marion (not her real name) has a history of mild anxiety and depression. She found my website recently, bought my eBook and embarked on practicing my very simple exercise technique.
This is the first half of our email conversation about her experiences and progress;
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.
I'm looking forward to using the Oximeter. I'm doing fine using my fingers to read my pules, but think I'll be able to relax more easily while doing the breathing if I can just listen to the beeps, and relax my arms.
So far all is going well, but it's nice to know that you're available for help and advice.
ZPB makes a lot of sense to me. I'm looking forward to the benefits coming from practicing this regularly. Glad I stumbled upon your website. ~ Marion
Thanks for letting me know how things are going.
I'm glad that this makes sense to you. It is becoming more popular, as more people, like yourself, understand the simple logic.
To help with your progress, I would just like to advise you to look out for the speeding up and slowing down of your heart rate as you inhale and exhale.
If you can detect this change in heart rate speed, then you know that you are creating (HC) heart coherence. And, should also be increasing your (HRV) Heart Rate Variability. Also, please make sure that you take small individual 'sniffs' of air, timed accurately to each beat. Doing this will help your heart beat more freely, helping it to become more rhythmic.
You should find the oximeter very useful and fun to use.
Please forward any questions to me that you might have. I will be happy to answer any queries.
I received the pulse oximeter today!! So happy that has arrived. They sent a different color than I ordered - I selected pink but received blue. That's not really a big deal though, compared to the benefit of having the oximeter.
I just went online to find the youtube I had seen of you using the oximeter, and in the process of that I noticed a book you wrote that is apparently no longer available on Amazon - Don't face your fears - about zero-point breathing. I'd very much like to read this book. Why is it no longer available?
I've done a short session with the oximeter and it's working well. If there's any more that you think I should know, please let me know. I am very interesting in more background on zero point breathing. Also, let me know if your book is available.
Thanks so much ~ Marion
Yes, I'm so sorry about the colour, they said that they ran out of the pink, so I went ahead and sent you the Blue anyway, hoping you wouldn't mind too much.
Please can you tell me , is the speeding up and slowing down noticeable when you inhale and exhale? This is what it is all about.
The ZPB sequence described in my ebook that you have now read, is the perfect, sustainable ratio of breathing to heartbeat that maximises this phenomenon and enables it to be maintained for as long as you practice.
I am so glad that you are enthusiastic about this Marion. I can honestly say, that despite the ridiculous simplicity of the exercise, it is (in my opinion) the most powerful self-help exercise that you, or any of us for that matter, can do. It subtly, but powerfully integrates body, mind and soul simultaneously.
To me, ZPB Self-Synchronisation is like a practical lesson for the message described in The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. What he is describing in his book is what you get from doing ZPB. Although, it becomes a gradual and subtle realisation that this is what is actually occurring.
Anyway, I could go on for hours about my favourite subject. There is much more to know about it Marion, and I am very happy to answer any questions that you might have.
I would like to send you over a complimentary copy of Don't Face Your Fears, despite it not being available otherwise. I feel sure that you will enjoy reading it and find it enlightening.
I do notice the speeding up and slowing down of my pulse, although it's easier to notice when I'm using my fingers on my pulse than it is when listening to the beeps of the oximeter.
I definitely would have like to hear more about the real power of ZPB.
I would describe myself as open minded about spiritual matters. That's been a primary interest for me for pretty much all of my life - almost 70 years. I would definitely like to hear more about ZPB and it's origins.
Has it been your experience that ZPB can lead to a fairly constant state of integration of body, mind and soul? I've listened to Tolle's Power of Now + Stillness Speaks many times, but have been frustrated in not achieving the states he speaks of. Hearing that ZPB could lead to that is very encouraging.
I would love to receive a copy of Don't Face Your Fears. I'm very interested in hearing about what lead you to developing ZPB + your views on it's benefits and any other thoughts, ideas and experiences you've had with it.
Thanks for getting back to me and being willing to offer more information. I would love for ZPB to take me to where I've been longing to be for a very long time - one of peace and integration for starters, and whatever is beyond that as well. Kind regards back to you ~ Marion
Just a quick email to send you over a free copy of the eBook Don't Face Your Fears. (Currently not available to purchase).
I hope you enjoy reading the content and find it of value. It covers much of the questions that you asked in your last email, although I will happily elaborate on anything that is not 100% clear for you.
Let's chat again soon. I am here, and welcome your questions.
In the meantime, thanks for your valued feedback etc.
I just finished reading this ebook. It's very interesting and helpful in understanding how you arrived at ZPB and the relationship between heart and breath, and thoughts and emotions.
I do have one question as to the breath count. Would a 4 count/pause on 5 still give me the same benefits?
I'm hoping that with practice, multiple times per day, will begin to show benefits - coherence. Based on what you have written, I do have confidence that can happen. I just don't feel very confident right now that I'm doing it correctly. My biggest problem is being able to relax quietly as I'm doing ZPB. Any suggestions you might have would be helpful and appreciated.
I do find this book to be very good, giving me deeper insight into the relationship between heart and breath. Thank you so much for sending it to me.
I'll let you know how I progress over time, and do appreciate you being available to answer questions. Thank you so much for that and thank you again for sharing your book with me. ~ Marion
Hi again Robin, My biggest question has to do with the way I've been feeling over the last month +, and is actually what led me to finding your website when searching for answers online.
The issue is this - I've been vacillating between anxiety and depression that has been quite debilitating lately. I've experienced both anxiety and depression in the past but not this steady and strong. I've been trying to quit smoking because that is what seems to be a big cause for the anxiety. My body just isn't handling it any more. I've been smoking for decades and it's caught up with me health wise. When I try quitting, I slip into depression that has been quite strong. I actually think I've been using smoking for most of my life to combat depression.
After reading your book, it's making sense to me that I've been out of balance most of my life - starting in my teens.
I do think ZPB can help to re-establish balance, based on what I've read in your book. I'm just not sure how it should be used to be most effective. My thinking is that doing ZPB when I'm feeling either anxiety or depression, or when I'm battling whether to smoke or not in any moment, would be very helpful. That would probably interrupt my day frequently the way I'm feeling right now, but my schedule is flexible enough to be able to do that.
What suggestions would you have for me to use ZPB to pull myself out of this current state of mind and body that I'm in. And do you think that ZPB can help in the moments when I'm feeling particularly bad, helping enough to move out of the states I get into. Thank you for any insights you might have. ~ Marion
I had an interesting night last night. I spent some time listening to some youtube talks by Tolle, and that took me to a more neutral place about how I've been feeling. During the night as I was waking and sleeping, I experienced a state where I was able to observe the nonsense going on in my mind, while being in a balanced state at the same time. It's interesting how that state is easier for me to reach in the night, and tends to lessen during the day. From what you're saying about ZPB, that should shift to being a balanced state day and night. That's very encouraging.
I also reached a point last night of feeling completely fed up with this battle between my head and heart. So I'm going have a quiet day today, spending time doing ZPB and just resting. I'll stick with the guidelines you've given rather than changing it from 5 to 4 sips of breath - understanding that you've refined this to the best and most effective method. It is good to read what you wrote in your other email - that it won't take me so long since you've already done the work. BTW, I did find that with the 4 count + pauses, I wasn't able to see the slowing down of heart beats on the exhale nearly as well as with the 5 count + pauses, so I'll definitely stick with what you've given in the guidelines.
I like what you've said about depression vs flat being actually a balanced state. I agree that the excited state is something instilled by society - that's a very good point to realize. Excited is not my goal - balance is. Thank you for that clarification.
Your responses to my emails are very encouraging to. I think what I've been missing in my early days of learning ZPB is feeling the still point. I've been focused on getting the count right and haven't been as relaxed and smooth with it as I'd like. I'll pay more attention to that and aim for a relaxed approach and experiencing the still point.
Thank you so much for your feedback. I very much appreciate it. I'll keep you updated on my progress. ~ Marion
Hi again Marion,
Thanks for email and feedback on Book.
Okay, regarding the count for the ZPB Self-Sychronisation Technique, this is specific! It is exactly as it says in the Guidelines.
It is this sequence that creates maximum, sustainable coherence and integration of the 2 functions of breathing and heartbeat.
It has taken me very many months to discover. I have tested it time and time again with MANY other people and the results are measurable and can be confirmed. It is this sequence ratio that works.
Regarding your feelings of anxiety and depression, I understand how this can feel and I understand the thought processes that accompany them.
What you are learning with ZPB, is to use your improved heartbeat rhythm to change the way your brain functions and to help you have the ability to choose exactly what you think (or think nothing at all). By reaching a 'still point' within yourself you become able to stop the chain reactions that represent your self perpetuating negative mental states. From that still point you become able to choose your next thought. And you can do this based on your experience of the truth, (your present moment, of comfort and safety), rather than your next thought being linked in strong chain of thoughts of uncertain and perhaps dubious origins.
I would like to make a discernment as well, between feelings of depression and of simply feeling flat. In our society it is instilled into us that if we are not leading a relatively upbeat, exciting life, then we are missing out and don't 'have a life'. But, if we don't currently have an 'exciting' life experience, we could just accept that we are feeling flat, or level, even, or balanced. Because however, there is this general expectation, being 'flat' etc can easily be mistaken as feeling depressed. All I say to you now Marsha is just keep considering this, because maybe this is the real truth for you!? It was the truth for me and now my so called depression is merely feeling flat. But, flat, level, even, also means balanced and this is essential as an emotional foundation on which to build some happiness and appreciation.
ZPB will take you there automatically. No thought is required. The simple logic of the journey is carefully explained in Don't face your fears.
I see your smoking Marion as incidental. Once you gain control over your thoughts in the moment, you will no longer be a slave to the urge and the battle of whether to have a cigarette or not will be over. Whether smoking is a battle for you, or even if it is a war, it makes no difference. It does not matter how long you have been doing it. ZPB will change your heartbeat, which will change your thinking, which will change your habits. It is all automatic and happens at a fundamental level. You just do the simple exercise and forget about the rest.
You are about to learn choice over programming.
Best wishes Marion,
Hi Robin, Just wanted to let you know that the ZPB practice I did today went very well, leading to an emotional break through for the first time in over a month. I actually feel like myself again. I've been stuck in such a negative and dark state and that finally has lifted. I practiced ZPB a lot today and feel that is what finally lifted me into this lighter state. It is so nice feeling this way!! I want to go further of course, but this step alone is absolutely wonderful.
I did two things differently today that made a difference for me. One was a simple adjustment on the pulse oximeter. I had changed the sound level for the pulse rate but didn't realize I could also change the setting for the oxygen reading. That was set at 93 and kept going off and on when I was doing ZPB, so there were two beeps happening periodically, rather than just the one for the pulse. I realized that when that happened, I was falling out of sync with my pulse, confusing the two beeps. Now that the oxygen beep is no longer there, I have just the pulse beep to guide me. Simple solution, but took a while to figure that out.
The second thing is that I've finally figured out how to be in the still point. Previously I've been trying to be there from a physical stand point, physically relaxing into it. Today I learned how to just be there, in an other than physical way - not sure what words to use - maybe mental, emotional, or in spirit, or all three. I've learned how to just be there and it's such a wonderful feeling. That one change has made a big difference in how the sessions have gone. It's become a very quiet and restful experience.
So that's my update. I'm going to strive for as many ZPB practices as I can each day, expecting that this progression will continue to happen. Thank you so much for all of your input along the way. ~ Marion
Thanks so much for feedback. I am so glad that you are having this experience now.
The way you are describing what is occurring for you now, is as I would hope and very similar to my own experiences.
Interesting about the Pulse Oximeter. Thanks for pointing that out and I'm glad that you got it figured out.
Anyway Marion, you are on the right road now and all you have to do is stay on it. Paradoxically, you are already at your destination and part of you realises that (hence experiencing still point). From there, you can start to see more clearly your mental states (and that of other peoples) and notice the transience of your thoughts and your very intimate relationship to them. But, when you can get a handle on your thought processes in this way, you can start to change them more easily. Then, you can find yourself able to pick and choose what you think! It seems to me, based on my own first hand experience, that it is easiest to be able to do this from still point.
If there is anything that you would like to ask me, that you feel would help with your understanding, then please do ask away.
There are some subtle nuances to how you breathe in relationship to your heartbeat, that can increase your Heart rate Variability (HRV) score. At a later date I can coach you some more, but for now you just need to do regular practice. This will keep those negative thoughts at bay and undermine their power over you. With a smooth and rhythmic beating heart, sending relaxed and consistent messages to your brain, negative thoughts and fears are easily dispelled. (Umm, interesting word dispelled).
I'm very glad myself to be have had the experience I did as well, and that continued with today's practice. Discovering the still point was a huge step for me.
I have been aware of the transient nature of thoughts, but have felt completely powerless with them anyway as far as them taking over at times. Learning to change them and pick and choose will be a very welcome discovery or development.
Do you now go to the still point at times when you're not doing ZPB? - perhaps from just a restful state. I guess I haven't gotten to the point of imagining my heart and mind in balance all of the time. Maybe when that occurs, the still point is always accessible.
I'll continue to keep you updated as changes occur and/or as questions come up. When you feel it's a good time for coaching, let me know. I want to take this as far as I can possibly go with it - which I assume is an always balanced heart and mind - and hopefully sooner rather than later :)
Thank you so much for your support ~ Marion
I just wanted to check in with you to see what was occurring for you since you have been doing a bit of regular practice for over a few days now. It interests me to know how your longer term experience is, to see if it is similar to my own.
As far as what I see occurring with practice, I do feel a bit more stable in my mood. There are still ups and downs, but the ups are better ups than I've felt in a long time - not an energetic up, but a peaceful feeling. And feeling down seems related to sleep. I'm still occasionally having difficulty sleeping - twice this week. I think if I can get that managed, I'll be feeling fairly good most of the time. Overall, I'm definitely feeling benefits - mostly feeling a peace that is new to me. I would love to see that increase, and expect it will as I continue ZPB. Best wishes back ~ Marion
Thanks for your response and for sharing your experience.
It sounds very much like you are practicing this exercise properly, as what you are describing certainly sounds familiar to how I would describe my own experience, since starting to 'Self-Synchronise'.
One thing that I would like to point out to you, is that the more you experience this inner peace, the more apparent any disruption becomes. This seems to happen as you are better able to observe without mental and/or emotional bias.
Once you are achieving this state of calm you are describing, you can start to see how, before you were actively engaging with the 'disruption', with your mind and emotions (to some degree or another). But now, you have the opportunity to actively disengage from the disruption and ignore it, because you can see that you now have the power to do that.
I could go on for ages explaining how's and why's. But, it is all quite simple really and there is no substitute for first hand experience, which is what you are having now.
Best wishes as usual Marion
This morning I had an interesting experience listening to my thoughts. It was the usual stuff - get this done, do that, you should . . . etc. I've noticed these thoughts plenty of times, but this time was different in that I spontaneously stepped back and just noticed them, with interest. I didn't try to stop them because it was such an interesting process. I can see how having experienced the peace of the still point, there was more detachment from the thoughts that were coming up. It was very interesting - the mind doing what it's there to do. I'm reading a book right now that aims to teach how to change thoughts, which seems so far to be is based on focus. With a coherent heart, I think that would be relatively easy to do with practice. What a difference one's life would be to have a heart and mind working well together. That's huge.
Also - I just listened to the Gregg Braden youtube you sent and enjoyed it immensely. That just further cemented into me the importance of this endeavor with ZPB. It's become a very personal endeavor in regards to my heart and mind. Hard to put into words other than to say I feel like I'm embracing all of my physical self experience in a very loving way, and learning to use it in an optimum way. That's very different than what I have been doing up to this point in my life, and what I've seen all around me up to this point in my life. Expansion would be a good description as well. The potential of this is very exciting to imagine.
Best Wishes back to you ~ Marion
I totally understand what you are saying and I share your views on all fronts. Universal language of the Heart perhaps!?
Yes, Gregg Braden does a good job of describing the importance of the Heart. He also strongly advocates Heartmaths information about the importance of heartbeat coherence.
What I would like you to realise (if you don't already), is that you now have, what I consider to be, the ultimate heart coherence creating technique.
There are people all over the World using Emwaves to create heart coherence for themselves. And despite most being on the lower levels of achievement (there are 4 levels of difficulty) it is helping them tremendously in many aspects of their lives.
ZPB Self-Synchronisation however, bypasses the need for the Emwave equipment, and for being in front of a computer screen. Therefore, it can be done anytime, anywhere. But, what is especially notable, is that, if you are doing ZPB correctly (5 beats in then pause, 5 out then pause etc.) then, if at the same time, you were to measure your heart coherence using an Emwave, you should see that you are MAXIMISING your coherent rhythm (HC), and at the same time your Heart Rate Variability (HRV). In other words, you should be scoring well on level 4 with a minimum of effort. That is because I have found that ZPB, as I describe it, is the perfect ratio of breathing to heartbeat for reaching maximum heartbeat rhythm coherence.
Best wishes again,
I've listened to many of Braden's interviews and love the ideas he's expressed. And he does it with passion. He's wonderful to listen to - very inspiring and uplifting. I've also read some HeartMath material, but that was quite a while ago and I don't remember much of the material I read. At the time I didn't know where to go with it or how to apply it. Having ZPB makes it so that I don't feel a need to recall the material - just want the coherence :)
I had a wonderful ZPB session last night before going to sleep. I did a bit over a half hour session. Toward the end I was drifting in and out of a state that was between waking and sleeping. I felt as though I was slipping in and out of a near dream state. I don't know what that state was, but it was very interesting and very relaxing, and felt like an expanded state. That led to a very deep and restful sleep. I realized that when I'm having difficulty calming down at night, ZPB is the best thing I can do to become calm and quiet in my mind. I was very focused on the ZPB breathing ratio and that led to that very peaceful state.
I feel so fortunate to have discovered your work. I doubt I would have persisted with something like Emwave, had I known about it. Using the pulse oximeter works perfectly for me, allowing me to easily follow my heart beat and relax into the breathing. I love the state that's taking me to. I'm already beginning to have a different relationship with thoughts that come up - being able to step back from them and also feel a lot of compassion toward myself and others that the thoughts are about.
This has been a remarkable experience for me - and the changes are happening fairly quickly. I'm very grateful for this discovery you've made and for the time you've put into finding the correct ratio. I also appreciate your feedback. That's helping me stay on course and reap the benefits of ZPB. I'll continue to keep you updated on my progress and experiences - feel like I'm just beginning and heading for even more expanded states and experiences. This is such a different experience than what I was feeling just a very short while ago with the anxiety and depression I felt trapped in. Thank you so much for your guidance and for ZPB. ~ Marion
Stay tuned for part 2 coming up soon.