Breathing Meditation

Breathing Meditation is the next step in your personal meditation practice after you’ve mastered basic breathing exercises. We’ve discussed how meditation is a process of focusing your attention on one thing, to the exclusion of everything else. With this meditation technique, you’ll learn how to truly focus your mind, and I’ll help you with some common issues that may arise when you practice this technique. Believe it or not, observing the breath isn’t quite as easy as it may sound. Are you ready?

1. Sit in a comfortable position. If you are sitting in a chair, place your feet flat on the floor and rest your hands on the top of your legs, palm down.

2. Close your eyes and breathe in deeply and exhale long;

3. Focus on observing the breath. Feel the breath as it moves into your body and as it moves out. Just focus on the breath. Allow your mind to travel with the breath as it moves into your body and as it moves out.

4. If your mind wanders, or you find yourself thinking about something else, become aware of what’s happened and bring your attention back to your breathing.

5. After 5 minutes, slowly return your awareness to the room around you and open your eyes.

That’s it! Simple, right? Do this for at least 5 minutes a day, more if you’d like. Notice how easy or how difficult it is to maintain your concentration on the breath. As you practice, it will become easier to focus your mind, and observing the breath will become easier to do too.

Click the player below to activate the player, then click play to listen to the guided audio for observing your breath.

 
icon for podpress  Meditation Technique: Observing the Breath: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Too pressed for time to meditate?

Often, people feel they are too pressed for time to practice their breathing or spend time observing the breath. If that’s the case, I recommend two things:

1. Practice observing the breath before you go to bed. Doing this while you’re lying down is fine. You may find it puts you to sleep, and that’s okay too.

2. Practice at any time you have 5 minutes and you feel like you’re in a safe place to do so. Sometimes, I will meditate for a quick 5 minutes at work, or for 5 minutes before a Yoga class begins, or 5 minutes after dinner, or any other time I can fit it in.

Mind won’t stop chattering?

The mind loves to chatter, so don’t feel bad if it wants to talk to you during your meditation practice. One of the most common difficulties with meditation is learning how to deal with thoughts. Here are a few things you can do.

1. Focus on just observing a thought as it comes up.

2. Remain free from judging yourself for having a thought, or judging a thought as being good or bad. It’s just a thought.

3. Accept each thought as it arises by simply acknowledging it. It may help to say to yourself, “This is a thought,” as the thought arises.

4. Refrain from pushing the thought away or getting mad at yourself or the thought. Trying to push your thoughts away will often make your mind push back harder with more thoughts, making it more difficult to concentrate.

5. Be gentle with yourself. It took me 10 years to learn all this stuff, and I’m still just a baby. There are people who have been meditating for over 30 years. The important part is sticking with it. I guarantee, if you stick with your meditation practice for 30 years, you will attain something very great!

As always, if you have questions, please contact me with questions or leave a comment about this meditation techiniqe below.

Move from this breathing meditation to the next meditation technique: Observing the Space Between Each Breath →.