Guided Meditation: Breath

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Mindfulness is the ability to come back to this moment over and over and over again, and often times our thinking mind,
our ruminative brain, our monkey brain, is consumed with the past or the future. And so to have an anchor, such as the breath, is really helpful to coming back to the moment. We come into the world breathing
and we exit with the last breath. And so to be very conscious of our breathing:
the way we breath and how we breath, draws us back to this moment
over and over and over again. So in this particular meditation, we are going to focus on using the breath as an anchor. I don’t want you to necessarily alter your breathing, but I want you to be very conscious of how you breath. So get into a comfortable position. If you feel comfortable sitting in a chair or on a yoga mat or the floor, whatever, but be alert. Be awake. This isn’t about going to la la land. This is about waking up to noticing what is
in front of us right here right now. Now in a moment or so I am going to close
my eyes so that I am not distracted by you. But I encourage you to close your eyes
so that you are not distracted by me. The eyes sometimes get in the way of
listening in terms of noticing, and in a sitting meditation, it’s easy for
us to practice with our eyes closed. So get comfortable in your chair or
get comfortable in your sitting position. Spine erect. Hands comfortably folded at your side. And close your eyes when you are comfortable. If at any time you are uncomfortable,
you can open your eyes again. The first thing I want you to do is just notice if there is any tension anywhere in your body. And just have a sensibility of letting go of any tension in your feet or your legs or your lower back or shoulders. And then come out of your autopilot breathing and notice that your body is breathing you. Maybe you notice that the smoothness of the air comes in through your nostrils. Maybe you notice that you’re inhaling through your lips. Perhaps you can feel your lungs expand. Our lungs inflate as we inhale… And as we exhale, they deflate. Nowhere to go and nothing to do, you’re giving yourself permission to just be present with your breathing. We’re using the breath as an anchor to come back to, over the course of the next several minutes, as we practice awareness of our breathing pattern. As you sit in awareness,
you might notice various sounds. The sound of a fan… or maybe cars or a bird… or maybe some noise or some voices
in another or adjacent room. We are not trying to turn out those sounds,
but those sounds are just a backdrop. They are background. And we come back to noticing our breathing. Perhaps you’ll notice your thinking mind… It’s not that we are trying to
empty our mind of our thoughts. But we notice when we get caught up
in narrative or the storyline of our thinking. And it gives us opportunity to
practice coming back to this moment. Maybe you notice the temperature of the air… Maybe you notice that as you breath and you become aware of your breath, you slow it. Or you alter the depth or the rate. Many of us become a little bit more calm or at peace, when we come out of our thinking mind and just focus on coming to the breath. Come back to your breathing.
Notice your breathing. Feel your chest rise and fall with each slow, deep breath. Receive your breath like you would a sound. Notice the inhalation… and how it feels as the breath moves inside of you. Perhaps you notice that your mind
has gone somewhere else. Be gentle with noticing that you are just bringing it back here: the awareness to now. Sometimes it is helpful to notice you are breathing by placing your hand on your heart, or over your chest. It gives you a sense of movement
of the air within your body. As silly or perhaps confusing as it sounds, befriending our breath is a good way to think about this. That our breath is with us. It is always there. And when we are stressed or
we are anxious or we are confused we simply can slow our breathing. Our chest rises and falls with each slow breath. And often when we are present to the moment,
we feel a sense of peace. Notice the position of your body in the chair. Notice where your feet touch the floor or where your hands are positioned in your lap or at your side… If your eyes are closed, you can gently open them, and let your eyes get acclimated to the light in the room. Notice the colors. Pause and be present.

 

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