By Theresa Puskar
Schaumburg, IL – Nov. 10 & 11, 2018
“With the help of breath, we recreate crisis and then integration can happen. Every crisis carries the seed of our awakening. When we go and meet that, what is left is love.” — Colin P. Sisson
What a wonderful weekend I spent with New Zealander, inspirational writer and metaphysical teacher, Colin P. Sisson and the Chicagoland Breath Integration practitioners. Upon my arrival, I was immediately greeted by the facilitator of the Chicagoland group, Sylwia Kaliszuk. One thing I noticed about Sylwia, Colin and his followers was a radiance and glow within their eyes. Our soul connection started high and grew, so much so, that I emptied my calendar so that I could attend the bulk of my weekend at the workshop.
I was immediately drawn to the principles and foundation of the workshop, Inner Observation and Self-Responsibility, as both are currently central to my recent spiritual contemplations (the universe has such a wonderful way of synchronistically orchestrating our lives!) Colin started each day with theories and explanations and then followed with guided processing. Prior to starting, he shared the remarkable story of his awakening.
“I was 21 years of age and out on an ambush in Vietnam. I anticipated no chance of survival, and with this realization, my body completely relaxed, and in that moment, I felt love, joy and freedom. Everything I experienced was a ‘wow’! — Colin P. Sisson
He too us back to the scene of the ambush, and I was mesmerized! At the moment when he felt utterly helpless and hopeless, he completely relaxed and found himself in a different state of consciousness. When witnessing a fellow soldier being shot, he was in a state of non-judgment and awe as he experienced the slow-motion impact of the bullet hitting his comrade’s chest. After a short time, he was back in the present, and had returned to his previous state of mind. The interesting thing is that this happened to him again in a similar situation one month later. One might conclude that such mind-altering events must have immediately shifted his consciousness and improved his life. Not so. The truth is that life became very difficult for him thereafter. In fact, he forgot the episodes for several years. Having been greatly affected by the war, he experienced marital unhappiness, PTSD and alcohol abuse. After living through years of emotional and spiritual angst, he started seeking answers and studied everything he could, from Zen Buddhism and Taoism to the Kabbalah and Goethe. Eventually, he went through a rebirthing process that set him on a vital, new path. While the rebirthing touched him deeply and opened his conscious awareness to his experience while on the battlefield, he felt that there was something more that he needed to find and share with others. He spent more time delving further into psychology, spiritual teachings and practices and eventually created Inner Awakening Through Self-Mastery, Breath and Conscious Living.
“Breath integration and integrative presence is being present with the truth of this moment whatever it is.” — Colin P. Sisson
In this practice, you focus solely on your body, feelings, and behaviors – nothing else is required. There are no techniques, gurus or ideologies. This practice can take you back to the paradigm that Colin experienced in Vietnam, where you connect with the true part of you, the one who has no judgments and follows no belief systems.
Colin asserts that the good news is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of us. We are already fully integrated beings. There is nothing we have to do to improve what we are, but the bad news is that nobody actually believes this! What Colin has introduced to the world is not just a practice but a way of being, especially during crises. Once you learn to integrate these teachings, you can witness, react to and experience crises with a great deal more consciousness as they arise.
“We are human beings, not human doers. If I’m doing something, I am searching outside of myself. Therefore, I am not present.” — Colin P. Sisson
We have been conditioned and raised to believe three myths that have led us to our current demise: ‘I’m not okay,’ ‘you’re not okay’ and ‘life’s not okay.’ Entrenched in these fallacies, we judge so much around us and within us as broken and wrong and avoid being present and going within at all costs. Eventually through our misbeliefs, resistance and avoidance, stuck feelings build within us and create dis-ease in our bodies.
So much of what Colin taught rang true. With the help of breath, we became present with our bodies and through that connection, we were gifted with an opportunity to lift our fearful resistance to feel. We could then journey into where crises had been physically stuck in our bodies and experience them in a non-judgmental way. This ultimately dissolves the root pain and opens the door for integration to happen. The trick, however, is to totally commit to remaining present with whatever exists. If you go into the process with the expectation and focus on removing pain, fear or anything else, you are not totally present and will perpetuate the cycle of non-being.
“Every crisis carries the seed of our awakening. When we go and meet that, what is left is love. Fear is your best friend; it is not your enemy. You can use it to your advantage!” — Colin P. Sisson
On Saturday, my facilitator was Sylwia. She was highly focused and present as she guided me through breathing and feeling into my body’s sensations. With her gentle guidance, I experienced some lower back pain and I was able to be present and allow feelings from that core pain to arise and be expressed. It was a highly cathartic and liberating experience. I got a sense that we were clearing things on many levels; layers of pain and repression that were beyond thoughts, feelings and experiences which I was conscious of during the process.
While remaining within the structure of their training with Colin, each practitioner had a slightly different style. Dorothy took me through another process on Sunday that, while slightly different, was equally as powerful. It was clear that they were both very present with me, and we very comfortable relying on their intuition to guide the way. I am grateful to Colin and the wonderful facilitators he has trained in Chicago. The work that they do is profound.
“If we know how to come through crisis, we can use it to heal ourselves—be real. What is happening to you right now? Be present with that!” — Colin P. Sisson
The exciting thing about Breath Integration is that it spills into our daily lives. When crises arise, we can use the tools we have developed and catch our reactivity in the moment. This allows us to be more present, dealing with it as it happens (or soon thereafter), so that it is not repressed and physically stored within us. Overall, the weekend had a great impact on me. I was excited about having an opportunity to do some cathartic work, and was thrilled to be under the gentle and kind care of a wonderful team of practitioners. With each breath, with every step I take towards feeling into my experiences, I look forward to uncovering that radiant glow that I saw so clearly in their eyes within my own!
If you wish to learn more about Colin and the Chicago branch of Breath Integration, email the word “Awakening” to IntegrationInChicago@gmail.com , or visit http://www.facebook.com/breathintegrationinchicago or http://www.colinsisson.com. Tickets are available online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/inner-awakening-tickets-49832769154.
Theresa Puskar is an author, performer, speaker, minister and motivational audiobook producer. With over 25 years of experience in media and communications, she has worn many hats in the industry. She is the author of the “Terri” children’s book series, which focuses on a variety of emotional and social development issues for children, ages 5 to 9. She recently received a four star review from New York critic, Alex Miller, for her autobiographical solo show, Beauty, Bollywood and Beyond. A powerful inspirational speaker and transition leader, Theresa edu-tains her audiences by touching hearts and minds in a way that is engaging, joyful and life-affirming. For more information, visit www.TheresaPuskar.com.