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Breathing meditation

columns Updated: May 02, 2013 00:22 IST
MN Kundu

The Buddhist meditation of mindful breathing is an excellent way to attain concentration, happiness, spontaneous healing and spiritual insight. It is a unique process of becoming more and more aware of the existence in the present moment.

The process involves keen awareness of breathing without controlling the same at all. It is natural that attention will drift away from time to time. Instead of being critical or ashamed we need to bring our attention back to observation with compassion.

Sit down in a quiet and dimly-lit place; keep spine erect and eyes closed. Take a few deep breaths, tense your whole body and relax. Feel with every inhalation, fresh energy entering your body and with every exhalation fatigue, worries and stress going out like grey smoke.

Without making any effort to control your breathing, simply observe each inhalation and exhalation. Tune in to the actual physical sensation of breathing in your nose as the air rushes in and out.

Now be aware of the up and down movement of chest and belly along with breathing for some time. Now observe the heartbeat and pulse in the whole body along with the breathing. Allow to expand awareness from the tip of the nose to hands and fingers, feet and toes and whole body in the present moment. Be aware of the muscles, bones and blood circulation in the body.

Now listen to the soft sound produced by the air rushing in and out during breathing. Expand the awareness from the physical movement of the body to sound. Relax and enjoy pure awareness of effortless breathing and surrender to calmness.

If you are sluggish in energy, focus attention on sensations in head, throat and chest. If mind is restless, focus on chest and stomach movements with each breath.

This meditation settles us into eternal present. We become aware of the vital realm of consciousness alive in us here and now.