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My Meditative Moments

Preparing for Your Practice – Breath

by meditative - April 12th, 2010.
Filed under: Introductory Readings.

“Conscious breathing can harmonize the mind with the body.”

Breath or conscious breathing is critical in any meditation practice. It’s the universal foundation of the practice. A steady breath yields a stable, calm mind. In meditation, the breath rhythm flows in and out of the nose. If you haven’t done this before with awareness, just try a couple of breaths.

  • Place the palm of your hand on the belly and feel the natural rhythm of your breath as you inhale and exhale. You’ll notice that when you breathe in, your stomach is rising, and when breathe out, your stomach is falling. Rising, falling.

In meditation, you focus on your own breath rhythm. Through breath one becomes calm and centered. All of our meditation practices begin and end with our attention to our breath. We learn to pause and rest in our breath cycle.

Sensations in the body, thoughts, feelings, and moods can open up in our awareness with our breath.

In general, your breath rhythm should be natural and spontaneous. Don’t try to force it- speed it up, slow it down, or soften it… our psychological tendency is to try to control it. Allow your breath to open as it needs to. When beginning this practice, your breathing may be shallow, short and not very peaceful. This is natural. If it is, relax, and just be aware of it… open awareness…without judgment or opinion. Try to let your breath move freely and easily in it’s own natural rhythm. With practice, your free attention, concentration, and patience, the quality of your breathing will improve. Your in-breath will become deeper and your out-breath will become slower. Your breathing rhythm will become more peaceful and harmonious. Mindful breathing should be enjoyable. It’s bringing you and your mind back home to your body.

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