Monday, March 14, 2016

Mindful Monday- Developing Breath Perception

"We stop our breath as a way of attempting to bring life under control."
The Breathing Book by Donna Farhi

Another week watching and observing my breath has passed. Becoming more mindful is definitely tied to the breath. It becomes the safe haven when I can't think straight. It is ground zero when I need to recalibrate my feelings. I am in awe of the human respiratory system. I am working on breathing completely and freely.

Breathing has certain characteristics:

  1. Oscillation- the whole body oscillates and moves slightly during free breathing. This movement rises effortlessly and not from suppressing movement somewhere else.
  2. Diaphragmatic- The breath arises predominately through the action of the central diaphragm.
  3. Internal Origination- The breath rises from within rather than being pulled inside mechanically by using the outer muscles of the body. Instead of breathing we are breathed.
  4.  Multidirectional- The breath expands in all directions, radiating out, just as a full dandelion flower radiates from it's core.
  5. Calm and Regular- The breath has a feeling of being and creating calm in the body and mind. It's rhythm is regular most of the time.
  6. Two/Three/ Pause Rhythm- During quiet respiration it's normal for your inhalation to be about 2 seconds and your exhalation to be about 3 seconds followed by a pause. More simply, you breathe out a little longer than you breathe in.
  7.  Flexible- Just as waves arise in endless variation in the sea, the breath arises with endless variation and adaptability. the breath changes as our thoughts, feelings, and movement change.
  8. Effortless- The art of breathing is filled with a sense of ease and relaxation.

   Many mornings when I first wake, I feel my breath very shallow and quick. Expanding my breath, I open more deeply. During meditation, which I have successfully embraced for a full month, I kindly note how full my breath rises. Kindly is a adverb I use to follow breath. It is easy to be judgmental and assume that this very elemental action is not adequate. It has kept me alive for 62 years so I should be kind. While I exercise I watch and listen more to the in and out. I am an observer this month. Observing kindly to become more aware of my amazing body, a gift from God.

                           More mindfulness Monday posts here.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing what you're learning. I like the idea that we should think kindly about our breathing as it has kept us alive! Focussing on it does have a calming effect.


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