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THE Solar Plexus, or sun center, is to the human body precisely what the visible sun is to the solar system. It is the source of all life and light; it is the manufacturer of life and light.

The sun manufactures light and heat by inhaling that which transcends light and heat. The sun breathes. It inhales “spirit” and exhales light and heat – intelligent will.

The Solar Plexus inhales light and heat and exhales magnetism; another form of intelligent will; a finer form; a more intelligent will, and therefore more powerful as well as finer.

If the sun were to cease breathing, there would be nothing left for the Solar Plexus to breathe. Life would cease to manifest. If the sun were to breathe spasmodically, only half filling itself with “spirit,” then would there be a poverty of light and heat. The effect of such a poverty of light and heat you can see in plants or persons kept in dungeons.

We are wont to believe that man breathes with his lungs alone, when the truth is that he breathes with every cell of his body. And each pore of his body, inside and out, is an avenue for the transmission of sunlight and heat to the great laboratory of the body, the Solar Plexus. The Solar Plexus is the body’s breathing center, where sunlight and heat are transmuted to magnetism.

All disorders of the human body and brain are due to shutting off the sun’s rays before they can reach the Solar Plexus. The deep and regular breather CANNOT be sick or mentally weak.

Just one thing prevents the breath from reaching the solar center; a closing of the pores, outward and inward. A stooping position will cramp and close many of the lung pores; tight clothing will shut up not only lung pores,but others as well. But first and last and always, and with more power than is contained in all other things combined, will THE MIND contract the pores and rob body and brain of life and light.

FEAR is the great robber. Watch the effect of a single fear upon yourself -- see how you cringe, shrivel and contract; see how you clinch your hands and curl up your toes; see how you expel the air from your lungs and hold it expelled; and you can guess, at least, how fear keeps you out of your own. This cringing and curling and shrinking is habit with the human race. Human beings are trained to fear past, present and future; themselves and their “enemies,” not to mention their friends; trained to fear what is without and what is within; fear the devil and God, too. Is it any wonder fear is a habit, and a good, full breath an unheard of thing to the majority of human beings? The one problem of the human race is to get rid of the fears so assiduously cultivated for so many ages. No need to tell the fearless one to “breathe freely.” He does it without thought of effort. As a consequence, his body is large and strong.

Every effort of the individual is for the one purpose of freeing him to breathe; to inhale intelligent will; retain it until it has rejuvenated every cell and become tinctured with the essence of his being; and to EXHALE it as still more intelligent will for the accomplishment of his purposes. Man breathes in intelligent will; focuses it within; and radiates it in new and more powerful form.

He who breathes correctly appropriates intelligence and will from the sun. The freer his breathing the greater the degree of intelligent will. He who breathes freely acts freely. He who breathes deeply thinks deeply.

Only fear prevents free thought. Only restricted thought prevents free breathing.

Get rid of fear and you will need no teaching to breathe freely.

Thought and action are one. Every thought is action, but we are not yet trained to see the finer motions of thought; therefore we say, “thought sometimes prompts action”; not realizing that ALL THOUGHT IS MOTION, AND ALL MOTION IS THOUGHT

One class of thinkers says breathing exercises are a necessity to a well-balanced mind and body. Another class says only thinking is necessary – the breathing will follow. Both are right, because BREATHING IS THINKING AND THINKING IS BREATHING.

A man can no more breathe without thinking than he can think without breathing. The instant circulation of breath ceases, that instant there is no motion. No motion is annihilation.

A thinking exercise is a breathing exercise; a breathing exercise, or any other kind of an exercise, is a thinking exercise.

An exercise well done is one in which is put ALL the thought that it can contain; an exercise half done is one unwillingly, unintelligently done. The former is correct thinking; the latter is slovenly half thinking.

Somewhere away down in the animal kingdom we used to know how to breathe. That was before we learned to be scared at God and the devil – not to mention ourselves and other people. But by scare-thinking we developed the habit of half breathing. Half breathing is a habit of the human race. That is, on the male side. The female side lives on quarter breathing; because it has been taught to fear more things than men, and because women are more apt anyway at learning. Women have learned to shrink and lean. Not content with this, they have bound their feet and hands and laced themselves into strait jackets – the most infernal machine imaginable for squeezing the Solar Plexus out of all semblance to a radiating center, and shutting off the breath of life.

All this habit must be overcome in the only way possible – by the establishment of new habits; new habits of breathing, of thinking. Remember, breathing and thinking are ONE.

Therefore I say unto you, men and women, but especially women, BREATHE. And keep on breathing until you establish the habit of full, free breathing. You people who have been trying to think yourself into the free kingdom and who wonder why you seem to make so little progress, just set to work and breathe for dear life. That will help you as nothing else will. Just the very kind of thought we call “breathing” is the thought which frees from fear. The weak, sick, timid ones are the breathless ones. Asthmatics, consumptives and nervous folks need breath and plenty of it, to heal them. And they are the very ones who will not breathe if they can get out of it. They immure themselves in hot, airless rooms and gasp and gurgle and bewail fate; because they have been for years – for generations, perhaps – trying to get along without breath. This is their habit of thought.

Well, there is salvation – a new habit of thought. Practice breathing even half as diligently as you have practiced not breathing and you work out the salvation that is within you.

I will tell you just how to begin and just how to keep at it; and if you will practice faithfully for one short month you will be thoroughly convinced. And if you will keep at it until you have made full breathing a habit of thought you will be a new creature; sorrow and melancholy, fears and fighting will have ceased forever. Energy, ambition, power, joy will have grown up in their place; your shrunken and bent body will have straightened up; you will stand with a curve extra in the small of your back, instead of with one curve at the shoulders, such as you had when you were a monkey; you will walk with a spring, on the ball of the foot, instead of coming down on your heels or shuffling along any old way; your eyes will be bright and steady and ready to look kindly into every other pair of eyes; your mouth will be straight instead of drooping at the corners as in the old wailing days, and your lips will be soft and sweet to kiss; your skin will be fresh and clear and your voice will ring out, like bells over quiet waters, instead of being smothered in your throat and tinctured with whines or snarls as of old; in short, you will be a new being, born again of the “spirit” and ready to live and love and do.


First and foremost, be sure you have plenty of open windows in your sleeping room; no a crack at top and bottom, but wide open windows. Use a screen to prevent draughts, if necessary.

When you wake in the morning throw everything wide open; lie flat on your back with outstretched arms and no pillow and light covering or, what is better, none at all. Relax from head to foot; close your mouth; take quietly a deep slow breath, filling the lungs evenly as possible all the way down; hold the breath as long as you can without straining; then see how very slowly and smoothly you can let the breath out. Pay very particular attention to this. See how slowly and steadily you can exhale the breath. Now, “get your breath” if you need to – as you certainly will if you are unaccustomed to deep breathing – and then do it over again. Repeat this five to seven times. Take about four seconds to inhale, eight seconds for holding, and as many as possible for exhaling. Possibly you cannot hold the breath so long at first; remember not to strain. Smooth, easy, steady – these are the first essentials. Practice will lengthen the breath. At first I could not inhale longer than two seconds, hold three and exhale three or four; and my heart beat as if I had exerted myself tremendously. It was three months before I could take five successive breaths such as I have described to you.

Right here I want to tell you what a help those three months of practice were to me in vocalizing. I was always troubled with short breath while singing. Four years of voice culture did little to help me. The three months in which I first practiced this breathing exercise it so happened that I was without a piano and never sang a note. Then one was brought into the house and I sang again. In spite of three or four months without a note of practice, I sang as I had never sung before. Never was singing such pleasure. It seemed to me I could sing any phrase, or two or three, with breath to spare and with a freedom I had never experienced before in my life. Since that time I have never known the old difficulty. I am convinced that systematic breathing exercises without vocalizing are of untold value to the singer.

If you are a man, or a woman who is sensible enough or slender enough to wear no corset, repeat this exercise two or three times each day, always in the same position and with the clothing loosened. And after retiring at night repeat again. Then command yourself to sleep quietly, breathe fully and wake refreshed at the usual hour.

If you will, in spite of all the medicos and Delsartes in the land, wear corsets, why, take the breathing exercises anyway. But take them standing, in the open air, if possible, or in an open window. Get a new, straight-front corset; let it out a notch or two more than you did the old one; after you put it on pull it a-way down in front and stand so your bustle is behind, where it belongs. Then throw your shoulders back, hold your head up, look like a sweet and gracious queen, turn your eyes toward heaven and all good, and breathe. Inhale love, power, shine, life – slowly, quietly; let it thrill you and permeate your every atom of being and fill your Solar Plexus with joy; let it transmute you and be transmuted; then lower your eyes, spread out your hands wide in blessing and breathe forth quietly, smoothly, slowly, all joys to all mankind.

If you are a man, never mind about the straight-front corset – just stand like an athlete, chest out and abdomen in, and take long, strong swigs from the sun; let them exhilarate all your being, souls and body; then breathe out blessings on the world. Take two or three breaths at each exercise; exercise several times a day, in standing position if you prefer; and recline night and morning for more breathing.

If you have a special pursuit in which you desire success, remember it when you are taking these exercises. While you are inhaling a breath you are negative, receptive; while you are holding the breath you are poised ready; while you are exhaling you are positive, radiant. You are giving out life to your dominion – to all who are less highly developed than yourself, to your environment in general, to your business, to whatsoever you are interested in. Then as you exhale a breath, spread forth your hands and breathe life into whatever you desire. You can grow friends, beautiful surroundings, money, loving thoughts, wisdom – anything YOU WILL, by this practice. I don’t care two cents whether you have faith in it or not – just do it and you will find out that what I affirm is true.

The Solar Plexus is the seat of emotion. By proper exercise of the whole breathing apparatus you may gain such control of the Solar Plexus that anger, resentment, resistance, blues, discouragement and fear will be as foreign to you as are the awkward motions you used to make when you were first learning to walk or eat. All these unpleasant emotions are due to cramping the Solar Plexus. The exercises I have just given you will free the Plexus and make you “feel good.” Continued practice will establish the habit of “feeling good” – that is, the habit of feeling free.

Until you succeed in establishing a habit of feeling good you will have, as you have had heretofore, periods of depression. These will gradually grow less deep and be more readily dissipated. When you feel yourself growing depressed, for no matter what cause, break up the tendency as quickly as possible. Here is the way to do it:

Undress if possible; if not, loosen your clothing; lie down flat upon your back with arms outspread and without pillow; let go of everything mentally; inhale slowly through the nostrils a full breath; hold steady a second or two; then force the breath suddenly into the upper part of the lungs; hold there a second or two and then suddenly throw all the breath down as far as possible, at the same time exclaiming mentally to the Solar Plexus, “Wake up! Wake up! !” Hold the breath down a second or two; then gradually let if flow back until the lungs are evenly filled again, hold an instant, and then see how very slowly and smoothly you can exhale the breath. Do this not over three times at one exercise and only when you are depressed. Then rise and move as if you were going somewhere and meant to get there. Get interested in what you have to do. The next time you think about your depression you will wonder what makes you feel so comfortable and full of quiet go. I have used this practice, which is my own discovery, for years; for all sorts of depressions from every imaginable cause; and never once has it failed to change my feelings entirely. It is guaranteed to cure anybody who will practice it with a will.

These directions sound complicated, but after a trial or two and a re-reading or two they will nearly do themselves, so easy and delightful will you find them and their effects. Never mind if your heart thumps a bit when you first attempt any breathing exercise. It would thump just the same after any new and vigorous exercise. Just be quiet and persist. Very shortly your hear will enter into the general enjoyment and keep as quiet as a summer morn, no matter how vigorously you force the breath up and down. This exercise properly persisted in will benefit or cure functional heart disease, as well as diseases of lungs and throat. In fact, there is hardly and ailment of the human frame which cannot be cured in this way, if the practice is kept up daily or oftener for a long enough period. Remember that the shine from your sun center is to your body what the shine from Old Sol is to plant life and planets; and these exercises establish in your solar center the habit of shining.


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