Using Our Breath to be Present.
Mindfulness and using our breath to be present. In my experience as a therapist, mindfulness is something that people utilize to bring themselves out of their worry or discomfort and into the present moment. Often times, breathing is used as a tool to achieve mindfulness because it’s something that we can focus on in the current moment. Our breath is always happening we just aren’t always focusing on it. By paying attention to our breath we stop paying attention to the thing that was worrying us. For instance, you probably weren’t thinking about your breath until I mentioned it. But now that you are, take a few slow deep breaths through your nose as you read the next paragraph.
Notice the cooling sensation of the fresh air in your nasal passages, your body rising and falling with every breath, notice any sounds in your environment that you may not have noticed before, imagine the new oxygen entering your blood stream and being sent throughout our body. If your mind wanders bring it back to your breath and intention to focus on the sensation of your body slowly inhaling and exhaling. When you’re ready to continue go ahead. If you’d rather re-read this paragraph and stay in this little mini meditation for a bit then go ahead and do that too.
Breathing is just one tool of mindfulness which allows us to quiet the chatter of our brain. Breathing works because it’s always happening regardless of where we’re at or what we’re doing.
My next and last post on this lecture Kindness is Contagious will discuss how being mindful can be applied to negative and challenging experiences in our life.
A quick side note: I mentioned in my first post of this series, Feel the Pain, that I attended a lecture at a Meditation Center and had lots of powerful experiences from my brief time there. One thing I didn’t mention yet was that one of the most significant pieces of that evening was the amount of kindness I received while participating in the lecture. The community there really practiced what they preached. A woman saw me ask my friend for a pen and brought one over to me. Another person saw me taking some notes on a flyer that had been handed out and instead she ripped pages out of her own notebook and passed them along. I did not ask these strangers for their help but their kindness spoke volumes. The fact that they took the extra effort to make me feel welcomed filled me with pride that there are still kind individuals filled with love and compassion.
Lecture attended at Kadampa Meditation Center Florida 8.11.17. Mindfulness for a Busy Life with Gen Demo. https://meditationinsarasota.org/