It's like seeing through a certain veil or a certain ... something ... a certain atmosphere, whereas the body feels the thing in itself, it BECOMES that. It feels in itself. It's not as if the thing were taken like this (gesture of absorption in oneself), it's as if the body itself BECAME that (gesture of bursting or expansion). Instead of shrinking the experience down to the individual's scale, the individual widens to the scale of the experience.”
In breathing work it is important to be able to distinguish between a sensation and feeling. The (nerve-based) sensation is always primary. The feeling is an interpretation of the sensing perception and with that secondary. The presence of feelings shows that either elements of the outer being (the so-called psyche) or the inner being likewise correspondingly the psychic being are participating. If these are silent, then no feelings are perceived but rather exclusively the sensation of the body.
So that no false image of the methods of the Perceptible Breath, I would like here to point out that in it the elements of the outer being (the so-called psyche) or the inner and the soul being are always integrated. So the breath work always involves the “whole” person. The dawning of consciousness and formation of the “Leib” is a matter of concern for the Perceptible Breath. (The “Leib” refers to the total complex of physical and spiritual interaction which makes up body and soul).
Insofar the proposal which I make in this publication to “bring to silence” the Mind and the Vital is completely untypical for the methods of the Experience of Breath. This work approach does not represent a “further development” of the Experience of Breath. In the breath work area which Ilse Middendorf termed “quieting thoughts” which as she pointed out is “also the silence of the Vital”, occasional
attempts were indeed made to research this “pure” sense work: Nevertheless the breathing work was never associated with a concentration on the subtle-physical body (as proposed here).
The ability to “be able to permit the breath“ requires a certain practice. In five-day (and weekend) seminars “The Perceptible Breath” this ability can be acquired through working at exercises which are almost exclusively practical. Already after two such seminars, those who practice these methods in general develop a sense of what is meant by the phrase “to let the breathing come and go of its own accord”. With that the students of the method can make progress on this path and increase their ability to sense, receptiveness and their ability to focus whereby surrender and conscious awareness are two further important skills; they all exist in a common interrelation with one other, and mutually determine and stimulate each other.
A further, important perception is that a carried-out extension exercise (of the body or part of the body) immediately brings about an intake of breath, and the breath – in the area of the body which has been extended – flows into it in an intensified way. In the course of the breath work, this is always more clearly perceived as sensing consciousness.
Some milestones in the personal life of Ilse Middendorf:
1940 She married Jost Langguth (organist and director of music) – 11th of September 1941 gave birth to her son Helge Langguth. Immediately after the end of WW2, Ilse Middendorf returned to Berlin where she found that the premises of her therapeutic practice had been bombed out. Her husband – my father, Jost Langguth – did not return from the fighting.