Continuing with Mindfulness of Breathing Practice.
Continue practicing with the Mindfulness of Breathing meditation. I highly recommend practicing with the 20 minute guided meditation above. Try to practice every day if you are able.
There are a lot of instructions in the guided meditation that subtly point out the building blocks to a skillful practice. Each lesson will offer more contemplations to bring to your practice.
Some Friendly Advice.
You are invited to move at a pace that feels right for you. Mindfulness practice is subtle. It takes time and patience.
These guiding instructions and teachings are meant to inform your practice over time. So take your time. As long as you are applying a healthy effort to practice and contemplate mindfulness for your life, you are on the right track and mindfulness will develop in meaningful ways.
Mental health and well-being are contingent on our ability to intentionally direct our awareness in appropriate and beneficial ways. Mindfulness is a skill that enables us to become more proficient in this ability. Remember, the more we know where our mind is and how to intentionally direct it, the more we can respond to life conditions with skillfulness and wisdom.
Four Aspects of Regulating Attention and Awareness Cycle.
Contemplate the following four elements within meditation practice.
- Aim. We intentionally "aim" our attention to become aware of the sensations of the breath.
- Sustain. We then "sustain" our awareness to pay attention to the changing qualities of the breath.
- Forget / Distracted. Because it is the nature of the mind to wander, we "forget” and pay attention to something else.
- Remember. Once we realize that we forgot the breath, we "remember" to aim our attention back to our breathing sensations.
Growing a Calm, Stable Awareness.
The breath serves as an anchor for our attention. Because we are alive, the process of breathing is always present and can be brought into awareness. The breath is a dependable object to practice cultivating a calm and stable awareness.
The Breath is Always Occurring in the Present Moment.
Mindfulness is an awareness of what is happening in our present moment experience. Mindfulness of breathing requires us to pay attention to the breath as it is actually happening. We are training ourselves to know the present moment reality of breath, just as it is.
Breathing as a Sensory Experience.
During mindfulness of breathing, we are intentionally directing our attention to the actual sensations of the body breathing. We know that we are breathing because we feel it. Pay close attention to the actual physical sensations that arise with each in-breath and out-breath.
How do you know that you are breathing? Again, you feel it. Of course, you can use deductive reasoning to figure out that you're breathing. You can say, "I'm alive. Therefore I'm breathing." However, you would not know the reality of the actual breath that is happening in the present moment.
It wouldn't be possible to recognize whether or not the breath was an in-breath or out-breath, a long breath or short breath, or any other quality of the breath. All ideas about the breath are abstractions. Remember, you can only know the breath, as it is, in this present moment, by paying attention to the actual sensations that are present.