The Breath

This is an ongoing series running through May to compliment the twice weekly meditation sessions that I will be hosting on YouTube (and are now archived on my YouTube page). If you have any questions, please contact me.

So far I have looked at practicalities of meditation, and not so much at technique. In these nudges I won’t be going into a lot of detail, but intend to give a flavour of what I am talking about. If you have further questions, please do get in touch (see above).

A foundation meditation is awareness of the breath. We breathe every day, the body just breathing itself. We can use the breath as a way to stabilize the mind, to focus the mind, to gain insight into how our mind works, and as preparation and anchor for other meditation techniques.

Here is an outline for a simple breath meditation:

  • Get into a comfortable meditation posture.
  • Reflect for a moment on your motivation.
  • If you are using one, start your meditation timer.
  • Take a couple of deep breaths to help bring yourself to your cushion, to let go of the activities of the day so far.
  • Allow the breath to slowly settle into its natural rhythm. Don’t force the breath. Just allow the breath to breathe itself.
  • Gently bring your awareness to the breath as it enters and leaves the nose. Don’t get involved in the breathing, just be a silent observer to the breath’s presence, the flow of the breath.
  • If you loose the breath by getting lost in thoughts, stories, external distractions, just note the thought or distraction and without judgement simply come back to the breath. How ever often you get lost in thoughts, when you catch yourself gently come back to the breath.
  • If it helps, count each in and out breath as “1”, in and out, “2”, in and out, “3” until you reach “10”, and then come back to “1” again. If you loose count, don’t judge yourself or concern yourself with what number you are at, just come back to “1”.
  • At the end of your meditation session, dedicate the benefits of your meditation.