Meditation is one of the most natural
and profoundly rewarding of all human activities. It connects you
with your own inner powers of vitality, clarity, and love. When done
deeply, it also connects you with God.
Watching the Breath Meditation
One of the
best ways to relax the body is to tense it first. Then, with relaxation,
you will find tensions being released that you didn't even know existed.
Begin your meditation experience by practicing the following two
relaxation techniques. The first exercise relaxes your body, and the
second calms your mind.
- Inhale, tense the whole body, then throw the breath out and relax.
Do this exercise three times to help rid your body of unconscious
The breath reflects one's mental state. As the breath becomes calmer,
so does the mind, and vice versa. Relax your mind before meditation, by
doing this simple breathing exercise:
- Inhale slowly counting one to eight, hold your breath for the same
number of counts, then exhale for the same count. This is one round of
"even count breathing."
You may either lengthen or shorten the number of counts according to
what is comfortable, but keep the inhalation, retention, and exhalation
equal. Practice "even count breathing" six times.
As the breath becomes calmer
and more refined during meditation, there is a joyous feeling of peace and
exaltation. Practice the following meditation technique to help calm your
breath, your mind, and your whole being.
Inhale deeply, and then slowly exhale. Wait for the breath to come in
of its own accord, and watch its flow. As the breath flows out naturally,
again observe the movement. Don't inhale and exhale deliberately.
Simply watch the breath. Don't watch your body breathing. Observe the
Be particularly aware of the rest points between the breaths. Enjoy the
peace, and the feeling of inward release and freedom that you feel when
your body is without breath. Practice this technique as long as you feel
After a time, as you become more interiorized, concentrate at the point
between the eyebrows. Concentrating here brings the awareness closer to
the upper part of the nasal passage, where the breath enters the body. To
center the awareness here makes it easier to watch the breath, and at the
same time bring it into harmony with spiritual awareness.
Practice this for ten minutes if you can.
When you finish observing your breath, continue to sit quietly and
enjoy the stillness and serenity you feel.
Learn more about Watching the Breath
Ananda Meditation Support
Universal Science of Deep Meditation