FOCUSED BREATH and TRANCEFORMATION BREATHWORK©*
Focused Breath is the name used by the Tamboo Academy for a powerful technique of using breath, movement, music and other tools as a method of rapidly accessing expanded states of consciousness. The method is based in part on work originally pioneered by Wilhelm Reich and developed further by Stanislav Grof and his Holotropic Breathwork method. Focused Breath adds process-orientated interactive elements, as used in Primal Therapy and in the Process Orientated Psychology of Arnold Mindell, as well as using elements from across the spectrum of the Conscious Breathwork movements. Each breathwork session is specifically shaped towards the issues and images intended for that experience.
Sometimes teachings and practices of various Eastern energy-work systems might be utilised. Crystals, essential oils and others items might be used if and when appropriate. Classic Shamanic teachings are utilised, including San (Bushman) Trance Dances and Tsonga Sangoma methods of opening to the imaginal. Insights from the Kabbalah, Alchemy, Taoism and Tantra are incorporated, as needed, to create a powerful synergy that will encourage and enhance the movement into expanded physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual awareness that focuses on the specific task of that particular Breathwork. Sometimes it’s just common sense and experience to know what will work in that particular situation.
Focused Breath has developed its own unique and original system, weaving the best of ancient and modern breathpractices, traditional and contemporary teachings. It is an extraordinary simple and powerful tool to rapidly move experientially into other planes of consciousness without using drugs, hypnosis, or electronic or other mind-control devices.
The music used in Focused Breath has been selected from many hours of careful listening and represents some of the most interesting and creative sounds produced. From contemporary fast rhythms, to slower Buddhist, Sufi, Native American and Indian chants and African traditional music, Western Classical music and modern music and rhythms, wave recordings and recordings made in outer space, old Celtic or Japanese tunes, to dozens of familiar and more obscure artists, the sounds used represent some of the best music available to enhance our work.
Many other methods of accessing altered states, aside from breathwork, are also used in specific Radiant Images Workshops. These include TransDance, Creative Imagination, ConsciousBody theatre and movement, Conscious Dreaming, spontaneous artwork, drumming, regressions and other techniques. Different workshops might use different methods in addition to Breathwork, but most foundation-level workshops include a ‘classic’ Focused Breath session specifically tuned to the work relevant for that particular workshop. The more advanced Kadeisha workshops (K3 & K4) teach and use different types of more technically complex breath and movement and pranayama, as well as other techniques, to radically shift consciousness.
Focused Breath is contra-indicated for persons with a serious psychiatric history and those on some types of psychiatric medication, and for people currently using recreational drugs. It is not suitable for persons with a history of epilepsy, with existing heart conditions or (as a precaution) for pregnant women.
Focused Breath is suitable for all reasonably healthy “normal” men and women of any age.
* The name ‘TranceFormation Breathwork’ was first used and copyrighted by Tamboo in 1995. This was a satirical reaction to the use of ‘copyright’ for Grof’s Holotropic Breathwork, the Primal Therapy Movement’s use of Primal Breathwork, the Rebirthing movement’s use of Rebirthing Breath, and everyone else in the Breathwork Alliance who came up with their own variation. And the self-righteous manner with which each camp demanded their certification and rigorous allegiance to the name, method and teachings of that sect. All these and more were (still are, probably) ‘Copyrighted’. While training and guidance are certainly important initially, there is something ironic about a method who’s entire raison d’etre is spontaneity and opening into the creative imagination and original mind demanding strict adherence to the dogma of the procedure, with a threat of legal consequence for those who transgress.
Tamboo used that name, TranceFormation Breathwork, for many years, to give a name to the use of intense and directed breathwork. That name and its associations eventually became tired and we found that ‘Focused Breath’ expresses better our intention and practice.
Some time ago, a newly name-changed ‘copyrighted’ breath modality called Transformational Breathwork was floated into the newage market place. By the law of delayed synchronicity, it expresses ideas, and even uses a few exact phrases, that are surprisingly similar to some published on this website (and elsewhere) for decades, but it still claims it is ‘copyrighted’ with its dutiful circle-c. After all, it claims, it ‘goes beyond Holotropic and Rebirthing’. Of course.
We all know the stories about Bikram, who, in his own words, ‘owned Hollywood’. Eventually his pompous plan to copyright Yoga asana was thrown out of court – but not before it actually went to court. The genuinely great have never needed to copyright themselves. They couldn’t be.