Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Imagine Breathing

Tich Nhat Hanh, one of the best know and most respected meditation masters in the world today, tells us that the breath is a bridge connecting our physical living body to consciousness.

We generally are not conscious of breathing. After all, it's easy to "forget" about something we do every minute of every day of our lives. When you pay attention to the sensation of exhaling and inhaling, you are connecting with a basic and vital part of you. When you focus your attention completely on breathing, you are reminded of something that is truly important in life--the present moment and the fact that you are alive.

When we allow our minds to get carried by thoughts and emotions, we lose touch with the most important aspects in our lives. A recent study conducted worldwide involving tens of thousands of people in about 50 different countries, found that by far most of our thoughts, the ones that get our mental attention, are negative and stressful. By making a conscious effort to pay more attention to our breathing every day reduces the effects of stress and actually prevent a lot of the stress in the first place.

For the next few days, in addition to practicing a basic breathing meditation once or twice a day, make an effort to pay attention to your breath no matter what you are doing:  whether you are eating, showering, commuting to work or buying the groceries. Really feel the sensation of the air rushing in and out of your mouth and nose. Notice the movement of your body with each inhalation or exhalation. Notice too that not only your chest moves but so does your tummy. In fact, if you don't feel movement in the abdomen when you breath, then your internal organs, including your brain, are not benefiting as much as they should. Search for the posting concerning abdominal breathing on this blog site.As you practice paying attention to your breath, you might want to try one of the exercises below:


  • Imagine breathing in white light and breathing out the stagnant or negative energy in your body.
  • Imagine breathing in healing energy through your crown chakra (at the top of your head) and breathing compassion out through your heart for the whole world.
  • Imagine a mantra (a word like peace) every time you breathe in and breathe out.
  • Take a deep breath thinking, I am powerful.
  • Take a second deep breath thinking, Life is truly wonderful.
  • Take a third deep breath thinking, I am enough for anything that comes my way


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