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Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Meditations: Watching Your Breath

This is part of Cocoon's Monday Meditation series.

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We've all heard about the importance of breath in helping to reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, increase focus and improve concentration. Do you do any type of breathing exercises to help your mental or physical health?

This breathing meditation is from Madonna Gauding's, The Meditation Bible.

The practice of meditating on the breath is thousands of years old. Ancient Hindus and Buddhists meditated in this way to tame uncontrolled thinking, reduce negative thoughts and actions, and gain an understanding of spiritual truths. Basically, you meditate on your breath in order to give your mind something to hang on to when it starts to jump from one thought to another. Training your mind in this way helps you focus on one thing at a time, and develops your powers of concentration. It has a calming influence on your body and mind. Whether your interest is in spiritual development or mental and physical health, breath meditation is one of the best all-round meditation practices. 
Let's Meditate 
1. Find a quiet place at home where you will be undisturbed. You will need a cushion or a straight-backed chair. Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing. Create soft lighting and keep the room at a comfortable temperature. 
2. Keep your back straight, your shoulders level and relaxed and your chin parallel to the floor. Lower your eyes and focus about three feet in front of you. Rest your hands gently on your knees. 
3. Breathe normally though your nose, using your abdomen rather than your chest. Check your posture and relax any part of your body that is tense. 
4. Begin counting your breath on each exhalation; when you reach ten, begin again. Thoughts will intervene and when they do, simply let them go and return to counting your breath. 
5. After ten minutes or so, end your session. Try to bring focus and concentration into you daily life.

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