Saturday, February 24, 2018 18:11

Breathing Meditation

Posted by on Thursday, June 18, 2009, 18:16
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Despite what you may have expected, many forms of meditation require no special expertise or instruction. The method presented here requires nothing more than a focused but detached awareness of the process of respiration, in other words, an attitude of mindfulness toward your breathing.

If this seems almost too easy, consider what really takes place whenever you draw a breath. With each inhalation, your body takes in tens of billions atoms, tiny fragments of the universe that over the centuries have passed through countless numbers of other living beings and will continue to do so long after you are no longer here.

In this sense, breathing is literally an act of sharing. It is a biological process that puts us in touch with the past and the future of our own species, and with all other living beings as well. To appreciate the significance of breathing at the level of your own daily experience, consider the close relationship between the way you breathe and how you feel, both physically and emotionally.

When you’re frightened or exhausted, the pace of your breathing speeds up while the quality of each breath becomes shallower. But when you’re relaxed, you breathe deeply and regularly, and you feel even more relaxed as a result. Breathing is the link between the biological and spiritual elements of our nature. And breathing meditation is a powerful tool for uniting those elements into a single wholeness of being.

Practice breathing meditation twice each day, in the morning and in the early evening. Each session should last from twenty to thirty minutes. As you become more experienced with meditation, your mind will become quiet and you’ll gain access to the state of restful alertness that precedes everyday thought. The stresses of addictive behavior will naturally diminish, because a new source of peace, joy, and inner strength has been revealed.

1- Set aside a time when you can be free from interruptions and responsibilities.
2- In a quiet space free from traffic noise or other distractions, sit comfortably on the floor or in a straight-backed chair. Close your eyes.
3- Breathe normally, but begin to focus your attention on the rhythm of your breath. Without trying to control or influence it in any way, become aware of air entering and leaving your body.
4- If you notice your breath becoming faster or slower, or even stopping completely for a moment, just observe this with neither resistance nor encouragement. Let the normal rhythm return by itself.
5- If your thoughts distract you, or you feel yourself becoming unfocused in any way, don’t resist. Just allow your attention to come back naturally to your breathing.
6- Continue this meditation for twenty to thirty minutes. Then, still sitting with your eyes closed allow another few minutes for gradual return to everyday consciousness.

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