In any given moment there are many things right and many things wrong, but for the few minutes when we sit, we’re letting go of the need to sort all of that out—to sort out the rightness and the wrongness. We’re making peace with the imperfection of being human and settling into the natural rhythm of the breath. The path of mindfulness is wide and deep, but it’s forever beginning now.
We’re making peace with the imperfection of being human and settling into the natural rhythm of the breath.
A Guided Breathing Meditation
A 10-Minute Practice to Be With the Breath
- Settle into your posture. Welcome yourself fully to everything that’s true in this moment, and allow it to be true. With the spine ever so gently reaching up towards the sky, you can surrender the rest of your body to gravity. Feeling the downward pull of the earth, maybe even a sense that tension can drain out through the body into the earth.
- Take a few deep breaths. Sense the wave of relaxation we can feel on the exhalation of the breath—the mind is bright and wide awake, but fully surrendered to this moment.
- Consciously scan the body. Relax any tension that’s crept in the area around the eyes, the jaw, letting the whole face be soft, letting the shoulders drop, and the belly be soft. Within this container of ease and relaxation, let the sensations of breathing find you.
- Sense the breath. We don’t need to reach out to grab ahold of the breath, we keep the awareness open and let the sensations rush in to that open space of awareness. So, maybe you sense the breath most clearly at the mouth or nostrils, the chest or the belly—wherever you sense the breath most clearly, offer the attention. As we settle in, we begin to become more and more intimate with the sensations of breathing.
- Observe the natural wanderings of the mind. Naturally the mind tries to keep us safe at all times, to recognize threats and opportunities, to avoid our pains and find our pleasures. But for these few minutes we’re settling in to a different kind of safety, the safety of the present moment, the safety of mindfulness.
- Return to the breath. When we notice that the attention is absorbed in memory and planning, in our fears and our hopes, we can immediately forgive ourselves and gently return the attention to the breathing as it arises and fades.