Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Breath Meditation

Your breathing is one of the easiest things to concentrate on during meditation. It is always there providing a solid life force whether you are aware of it or not. During this meditation technique we are going to focus solely on the breathing. This is a great way to relax and as a little side benefit you become more aware of how your body functions and hopefully have a little more respect and gratitude for the amazing job your body does.

Ok lets start by finding a comfortable, calm place to meditate. If you can change the lighting set it to a nice, low, unobtrusive level. Sit in a position where you feel comfortable and relaxed. Close your eyes and rest your hands in your lap.

Now I'd like you to bring your attention to your breath. Concentrate on the rhythm of your breathing. Don't try to force it, just let it come naturally. Feel the air as it moves in and out of your body. When you feel nice and relaxed I'd like you to direct your attention to your nose. Concentrate on this spot for a few minutes, feel the movements of the air as it passes through your nose. Think about the sensations it makes. Does it feel cool? Does it tickle slightly? Take note of everything you feel and be aware of the air passing through your nose at that exact moment.

Now I want you to direct your attention to other parts of your body. Move your attention down to your throat. Concentrate on this area, does your throat move when you breath? Can you feel the cold air pass over your throat? Think about any sensations that you feel and just be aware of how the air feels as it moves through your body, nourishing all your organs and keeping you strong and healthy.

Concentrate on your throat for a few minutes then move down to your chest. Become aware of your chest rising and falling with each steady breath. How does this feel? Is it calm and relaxing? Does your chest move more than you expected it to? Or is your breathing more shallow? Feel the air as it enters your lungs. Is there any movements or vibrations in your chest that you weren't expecting? Continue to concentrate in this area for a few more minutes.

Now I'd like you to move onto your solar plexus, or navel area. How does your breathing effect this area? Perhaps there is a lot of movement down here, or there may be no movement at all. It's ok if there's no movement, just take a note of this. Concentrate on this area for a few minutes then move on.

Repeat this process for every area in the body that you have time for. You can concentrate on any area of the body at all from your hands to your feet. Try your back or shoulders, does your shoulders move when you breath? How about your thighs, can you feel any movement there? Move around each area in turn concentrating slowly on that particular area for several minutes. Think about the muscles in that area. Is your breathing helping to relax those muscles? If you feel tense simply release that muscle and let it relax.

Once you have covered all the area's that you want to cover bring your attention back to your chest. Concentrate once more on the rising and falling of your chest as the air enters and leaves your lungs. Then slowly begin to release your concentration. Begin to see your body as a single unit, notice how the air travels the entire length of your body and is not specific to just one part. Feel the air as it enters your body then travels to all the muscles and all the organs within your body.Relax and enjoy this feeling for a while. Then when you feel comfortable slowly bring yourself out of meditation and enjoy the rest of your day.


Brenda Mayhew


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