Plant seeds of happiness, kindness and friendship; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of Nature. – Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati
He further says that within all of us there is a very special quality—Sam Rakshan, the caring nature. Sam means complete and Rakshan means to protect and preserve. It is this innate nature that takes one out of one’s self-centered ego and puts the comfort and happiness of others first.
Oxytocin is a powerful hormone which functions as a neurotransmitter in the brain. While it is traditionally associated with sex, breast feeding and childbirth, almost any form of social bonding or positive physical contact can trigger oxytocin. It is linked to warm, fuzzy feelings and it has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in some studies.
It has the power to regulate our emotional responses and pro-social behaviors, including trust, empathy, gazing, positive memories, processing of bonding cues and positive communication. On account of oxytocin, one feels good with persons one likes. So, the more we care about others, the better we will feel.
Women have higher oxytocin levels because it is a key hormone in childbirth and lactation. It is been found that both men and women experience oxytocin in the same ways. It facilitates bonding with children, increases romantic attachments and plays an important role in reproductive health.
Research has also revealed that oxytocin in males improves the ability to identify competitive relationships and navigate their fight-flight-response. In women it tends to improve the feelings of kinship. This maybe because of the behavior of oxytocin in the male and female amygdala which is responsible for emotion and behavior.
The practice of Breath Awareness and Meditation can increase levels of oxytocin in both males and females.
- Awareness means being aware of one’s breath.
- Visualizing oneself inhaling prana with the breath, pausing and then exhaling and pausing.
- Counting one’s breath backwards from 54 to 0. No errors to be made, because then one has to repeat the process.
Outcome one is aware of one’s breath, one is detached as one is engaged in a neutral activity, and one’s prana is being balanced.
In this practice one is withdrawing one’s senses externally. The sadhana is Antar Mouna (Inner silence). One must sit still, with eyes closed. By practicing breath awareness, one has quietened one’s mind. One’s thoughts cannot engage with one. Now one listens to the external sounds. Paying attention to the loudest sounds and the softest sounds. After a while switch to the internal sound of the breath. Go back and forth between external and internal awareness. After twenty minutes open eyes. One will feel refreshed and calm.
Sam Rakshan comes into play, and one finds that one has a sense of well-being which is transferred to others also.
Aim Hrim Klim
Photo by Lina Trochez on Unsplash