Breathing Meditation – Your safe harbour in a storm.

Breathing meditation is an exercise in mental awareness, not an exercise in physically controlling your breathing.

Breathing Meditation – Your safe harbour in a storm.

Breathing meditation is one of the simplest and easiest mindfulness exercises. Focusing awareness on your breathing takes your attention away from the raging tempest of thoughts and emotions that usually swirl around inside you during times of great stress. When you feel like you are spiralling out of control on the way to rock bottom, breathing meditation can be a lifeline around your sanity. Let’s take a look at how easy and effective this can be.

An Overview of Breathing Meditations

Breathing meditation is an exercise in mental awareness, not an exercise in physically controlling your breathing. Thus, if you suffer from breathing difficulties, such as COPD, this isn’t something you’ll do with your physical therapist. While mindfulness is generally an excellent antidote to stress, if the struggle to breathe is itself the cause of your stress then this may not be the best mindfulness exercise for you. But for most people, the process of breathing is controlled beautifully and unconsciously by the autonomic nervous system, and makes for an excellent anchor for our attention.

To begin the exercise, place yourself in a comfortable position, relax each part of your body in turn, and then close your eyes. For the next five to ten minutes, focus only on your breathing. If your mind wanders – which it will – just gently bring it back to your breathing. To help you focus (and stop you from going in the other direction and spacing out) keep a running count of each out-breath, from one to ten repeatedly.

After numerous sessions of counting your out-breaths, switch focus to your in-breath, counting before you breathe in. This makes you aware of the different feel of the in-breath – one of gathering energy – in contrast to the release of the out-breath.

When you feel you are ready, drop the counting altogether and just focus on your breathing. While counting can help you focus, it also breaks the seamless flow of breathing into a choppy, discontinuous series of individual breaths. Try to feel the air at the rims of your nostrils, and even on your upper lip.

This level of sensitivity may take a while to develop, but one of the purposes of mindfulness exercises is to enhance the richness of your present moments, bringing to consciousness fine details that are usually missed. In other words, mindfulness makes you more alive in the here and now, and over time this becomes apparent across your entire waking life, not just during meditation itself.

Dealing with Distractions

The issue of distractions brings us back to our primary purpose. When you are distracted by all those random thoughts or emotions that impinge on your awareness, you are like a car driver who allows an obnoxious passenger to take hold of the wheel. You are no longer in control, and this is not an acceptable state of affairs. But it is vital not to become annoyed or disappointed with yourself; in fact, there is something to celebrate here.

At that precise moment when you realise that you have lost your focus and become distracted, you are taking the passenger’s hands off the steering wheel and putting yours back on. You are becoming more aware; you are learning that you have a choice about the contents of your mind. And with choice comes freedom.

Thus, whenever you bring your attention back to your breathing after a rude interruption, do not judge yourself. Take a moment to pat yourself on the back for rising above the distraction. (Don’t overdo it, though, since this little celebration can itself become a distraction!) In a sense, the right attitude to adopt toward yourself is one of loving-kindness, which we have discussed in companion articles on this website. Breathing meditation is, in fact, a prelude to more advanced Buddhist meditations such as loving-kindness, and the calmness it will give you is a necessary precondition for insight.

Using this simple exercise, you will always be able to regain inner control and restore your sanity with just a few minutes to spare.

Richard M. Frost – About the Author:

Effective though it is, breathing meditation is only the beginning of the most fascinating journey you will ever take – the journey within. To see what happens when ancient meditation techniques are enhanced by a thoughtful application of modern neuroscience, visit Meditation Audio Reviews.

The Mind Spirit Connection

A human being is made up of three divisions: mind, body and spirit. You could not live on the material plane if one of these divisions were missing.

The Mind Spirit Connection

A human being is made up of three divisions: mind, body and spirit. You could not live on the material plane if one of these divisions were missing. So first of all let us consider what the mind is then the body and finally the spirit then see what the connection is.

What is the mind?
Is the mind separate from the brain? How does what happens in the body, especially what happens in the brain, affect the mind , and vice versa? A lot of people think that the mind is the physiological brain. There are many truths that would confirm this type of reasoning. The brain is the location of both conscious thought and creativity. Also with the help of the nervous system of the spinal cord and the network of nerves that branch to every part of the body; the brain is also in control of all body movement.

This nervous system also interplays with endocrine glands to affect other systems and body functions. The brain is also used to reason by interpreting the information which is around you: the information you take in through your eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin. A lot of people are confused about this because the thing is you do not reason with the brain. The brain is just a physical vehicle for that elusive energy we call the mind to manifest itself from. You must then reason with the mind, and if so the mind must be something extra to the body and brain.

What is the body?
The body is the physical form we manifest on the earth plane. It is made up of a group of connected parts, and systems: such as the skeletal, muscular and nervous systems etc. including organs and tissues, that carry out particular functions , such as breathing and digestion. The human body can maintain health and survive only if all systems in the body work together. The body is the shell without a body a person cannot exist on the earth plain.

Every living thing on earth has a body after its own kind; they also have intricate systems that maintain their existence. Some believe that it is only humans that have a spirit (soul). Others believe that everything that exist on the earth plain has a mind, body and spirit. As soon as life ends all shells (bodies) rot and crumble to dust. It is amazing how much we have in common with every thing around us.

What is the spirit/soul? The spirit is an invisible inner power. The spirit is supposed to be what makes us human separating us from animals who stay alive by baser instincts. The thing is I do not agree with that idea. I think that everything that breaths on earth has a spirit. The thing is having a spirit allows you to tell the difference between right and wrong. The spirit is the basis of your passion, motivation, aspirations, and love. Think of your spirit as your emotional centre. Without the spirit you really would be dead.

So in order for you to function in a healthy manner on the material plain your mind, body and spirit need to be in harmony. You could say that the connection between them is that the body is the vehicle through which the spirit manifest it self on earth. The mind is what educates the spirit on its journey through life on earth and on other plains, such as the astral and other elusive planes.

Dion Daly – About the Author:

Dion Daly is a certified trainer in hypnosis, a master practitioner in NLP and TLT. He also has a degree in metaphysics.