Using Your Breath as the Focus of Your Meditation
Breath-centered meditation is one of the most common forms of meditation. In this sequence below, I point out aspects of the breath to pay attention to. Focusing on these subtle sensations will pull your attention inward and help to keep you from wandering off.
Notice the sensations of breathing.
- Notice all the places where you feel the breath moving in your body (belly, chest, throat, nose). Try not to change the natural rhythm of your breath.
- Choose one of those places and hold your awareness there.
Pay attention to duration.
- Pay attention to the duration of just the exhalations. Without changing the rhythm of your breath, notice how long your exhalations are.
- Then notice the duration of your inhalations (without changing anything).
Notice the turn-around points.
- Now focus on the turnaround point between the exhalations and inhalations. Perhaps there’s a pause here. Perhaps not. Just notice when the exhalation turns into the inhalation.
- Then notice the turnaround point between the inhalations and exhalations. Again, maybe there’s a pause, maybe there’s not.
Focus on the entire breath cycle.
- Then pay attention to the full breath cycle and stay with that for as long as you like.
- When the mind wanders into thinking, just label it “thinking” and come back to the breath (no judgement, it’s normal).
Meditation is the most tried and true tool for steadying your mind, developing awareness, and cultivating equanimity.
Deep peace is waiting for you.