Meditation Articles Series

Being in your body, being with the breath

In Learn to Meditate Over Five Days on our website, the one pointed focus is the breath. Watching the breath encourages you to be in your body, and aware of your body.

I grew up in a religion where the body was condemned. The body was associated with impurities, and defilements. It belonged to nature – the earth, which is down there, and I was taught to aspire to what is up there, which is the divine, which is God in heaven. The truth is that we are nature. Nature is not something outside us. We breathe, and through breath we are alive sentient beings. We are in form. From those early limiting core beliefs a huge part of my journey has been to honour the form, to care for it and nourish it, to respect it, and to listen to it. How I am breathing tells me a lot about my physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

Meditation helps you become aware of how you are breathing

When I began meditation I gradually became aware of how shallowly I breathed. I could even stop breathing altogether, and not notice that I was actually holding my breath! Through meditation I have become very conscious of the breath.

Breath is always with you

As you go about your day, become aware of the breath. You can do this just about anywhere. Take a few minutes out to be conscious of how you are breathing is really helpful. When you are stressed, take your attention to the breath for a little while. When stressed the mind becomes frantic so the breath tends to be very shallow. Observe the breath as it enters and leaves your nostrils. Be aware of the rise and fall of your chest and abdomen with each breath. Observe how watching the breath, if only for a few minutes, helps to bring you in touch with your body, and your body’s sensations. Observe how the breath helps to connect you to your emotions and feelings. Observe how the breath can calm and soothe you. Be with your breath and remain centred in your body.

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