Space Between the Breath
Observing the space between the breath is the next step on your path of learning how to meditate. So far we’ve mastered the breathing exercises and practiced breathing meditation. If you haven’t done those techniques yet, or if you need to refresh yourself, please click on those links to review them now.
Meditation technique #2 is a way to deepen your meditation experience after you feel comfortable with the first technique. Ready?
Follow the steps for observing the breath, Then, as you are focusing on observing the breath moving in and out of your body, shift your attention to the space between the breath. As you breathe in, there is a tiny moment of stillness where the breath rests before you begin your exhalation. Similarly, there is a momentary stillness at the end of the exhalation, before you begin your next inhalation. Refrain from trying to grab hold of this space. Just observe it. Refrain from trying too hard to find it either, just let it reveal itself by placing your attention on it. If your mind wanders, become aware that it’s thinking about something else and bring your mind back to the breath first, and then the space between the breath.
Click on the audio button below to activate it, then click the play button to listen to instructions for observing the space between the breath.
Can’t stay focused?
Sometimes, it’s really hard to stay focused. If that’s the case for you, return to just observing the breath until you can maintain your concentration on the breath without becoming easily distracted. Once you feel you can maintain your focus on the breath, begin utilizing meditation technique #2 by shifting your focus from the breath, to the space between the breath.
What to expect
By focusing your attention to the space between the breath, you may experience a deep stillness. The moment between the inhalation and the exhalation is a moment of total stillness inside your body. As you passively focus on this space without trying to grab hold of it, you will find that the space naturally expands. This will happen spontaneously and without any effort on your part. It’s something that naturally happens just by observing the breath and the space between the breath.
When this space expands, you may find yourself feeling extremely peaceful, tranquil and relaxed. When your mind rests in this stillness between the breath, thoughts do not overwhelm you. You’ll find that it’s very easy to keep your mind entirely focused. Without the mind chattering away, or thinking about something, you will find that when you come out of meditation, you’ll feel renewed and re-energized. It’s as if the mind takes a break, and when that happens, you no longer feel exhausted from thinking about all the pending circumstances and problems of your life.
Having this experience may be very easy for you, or it may take time to unfold. Also, don’t be surprised if your experience is very different from the one I’ve described. Your experience of meditation is unique as you are. That’s why it’s helpful to have a teacher to help answer your questions and personally guide you through your personal practice of meditation.
Do you have questions about this technique or something you’re experiencing? Would you like to share your experience? Leave a comment below or contact me.