I have invented a philosophical breathing workshop. This workshop offers my investigations of the phenomenological ontology of breathing which are especially based on the works of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Martin Heidegger and Gaston Bachelard. In addition to these important phenomenological figures my respiratory interrogation is also inspired by Luce Irigaray’s and David Michael Kleinberg-Levin’s ideas about air and breathing as well as the Eastern ideas about the cultivation of breathing such as zazen of the Zen tradition and the Western ideas about working with the breath (Reich, Lowen, Middendorf, Manné). I have also practiced for many years zazen-meditation as a form of cultivation of breathing as well as other kinds of breathing-methods. I call my philosophical, or ontological, approach by the name of ‘Philosophical Breathwork’ as it provides a philosophical way to work with breathing and as such it combines theory and practice as means to interrogate all the phenomena of our being-in-the-world from the perspective of breathing. This means that within this Philosophical Breathwork as a new way of thinking, that is, a respiratory way of thinking we can investigate phenomenologically, that is, experientially, for example, the fundamental philosophical questions of space, time, freedom, community, selfhood, body, language, peace, spirituality, the world, Being, etc. as the questions of breathing. This means that my Philosophical Breathwork is a method which transforms, mutates and deepens all phenomena into respiratory phenomena.
Petri Berndtson is doing his PhD at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland., investigating breathing as a question of phenomenological ontology. He lives in Helsingfors.
Kunstakademiet i Trondheim
Norwegian University of Technology and Science (NTNU)