A regular meditation practice is easier than you think: most of us have the idea that we need to find a suitable time and appropriate place. While this can be true for some techniques, here is one that you can do anytime, in any location.
The conscious breath.
This meditation technique is to simply become conscious of your natural breath. There is no difficulty (and no place for excuses!). Your breath is the only thing that is consistent in your life. From the first inhale moments after your birth, to your very last exhale.
Here’s how to turn it into an effective meditation practice.
- Observe the breath from the beginning of the inhalation, and keep observing it right to the end of the inhalation.
- Then from the beginning of the exhalation, observe the breath right through to the end of the exhalation.
You may start to feel that you are controlling your breath, because now you are paying attention to it. Just keep going, just keep breathing, and keep watching. Careful not to jump ahead! Move with the breath, as it enters the nostrils observe, as it leaves the nostrils, observe.
With practice, your mind will learn to focus on the present. This technique is particularly good for when the mind is dull with doldrums of the past, or in frantic worry about the future. Notice as you observe your breath, you become more alert, more focused, and more relaxed.
Conscious breathing will keep you alert to the present, empowering you to have a richer experience. Remember that you don’t have to put this time aside; you can do it at any time, with what ever you are doing. As you read this, right now, you can still be aware of the breath, and stay alert to the words you are reading. Experiment with other things also, as you go about your work, when you are walking, when you are preparing a meal, when you are in bed creating an atmosphere for quality sleep!
With practice, you will soon start to notice the different ways you breathe in different circumstances. Experiment by practicing the conscious breath with different emotions, when you feel tired, when you are in anger, when you feel happy, when you are under pressure, the opportunities to practice this simple yet profound technique are endless.
So keep observing and enjoy the greatest gift that has been given to you: your breath!
I have had excellent feedback from many of you, who have benefited greatly from my instruction of Ujjayi breath. Overall, people reported feeling warmed and invigorated throughout their bodies, and also observed new clarity in their minds. I truly appreciate this feedback and thank you for taking the time to let me know how the techniques make you feel.
If this techniques bring to mind anyone in your circle of friends, family or colleagues who may be interested in developing their personal effectiveness, I would be honoured if you shared this tip for living more skilfully.