HOW DO I MEDITATE USING THE BREATH AS THE ANCHOR?

 

SIT – FEEL THE BREATH – WANDER OFF – COME BACK. NOW DO IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN!!!!

 In mindfulness we are trying to develop awareness of the present moment. We have chosen the breath as our anchor to develop awareness as it is readily available and always present.

*One can bring one’s attention to wherever you feel the breath most dominant. This could be your chest, abdomen, body or tip of the nostrils. I would invite you to experiment with bringing awareness to the tip of the nostrils as this is a focal and very sensitive spot to appreciate the breath.

*Bring your attention to the physical sensation of the movement of the breath at the tip of the nostrils.

*Be open to the multiple ways you can experience the breath. Is it smooth or irregular, deep or shallow, quite or loud, warm or cool?

*Allow yourself to be breathed by your body. There is no conscious control over the breath.

*Your attention will be drawn away from the breath and you will be off with thoughts of the past or future. This is normal. When your mind decides to come back to the breath don’t see that as a failure but as a positive part of meditation.

You are coming back to mindfulness of the present moment, the breath.

MY BRAIN IS SET IN ITS WAYS. HOW CAN MEDITATION MAKE ANY CHANGE?

Previously it was felt that are brains were fixed and we couldn’t change them. We now believe that NEUROPLASTICITY is possible. In neuroplasticity the brain has the ability to change by forming new neural connections. It is not true that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!” There is hope. Meditation can allow for positive changes in how we relate to the present moment.

WON’T MEDITATION MAKE ME LESS PRODUCTIVE?

WON’T MEDITATION MAKE ME LESS PRODUCTIVE?

Meditation will not turn you into a zombie. You will not become dull with no ambition or drive. If anything meditation makes you more focused. We are constantly doing things automatically tremendously influenced by our conditioning from our parents and society. We do things and are not aware that we are doing them. We are captivated by multiple experiences and have no focus. How many times have you driven from point A to B and when you arrived at your destination you said: “Who was driving?” You ate a meal and wondered what it tasted like. Meditation in creating awareness of the present moment with acceptance actually makes you more focused, less reactive and more productive! It is being used by schools, pro sports teams and military units to enhance performance.

IS FAITH HELPFUL IN MEDITATION?

I have never been a faith based person. However there was something about meditation that created a faith that what I was doing was beneficial. This was a practice that has been around for thousands of years. I could not imagine that if it wasn’t helpful that it would continue to be so popular. The other key component of faith was observing personal change in myself from mediation that says this works!

– Phil Blustein

WHY IS THE BREATH SUCH A GOOD OBJECT TO USE AS AN ANCHOR FOR MEDITATION?

The breath is a great object to start to practice meditation. It is an external object that we don’t intentionally create when we are open to its natural movement. It is always present and available. No one breath is the same as another breath. Every inhalation and exhalation comes to an end. We don’t tend to personalize a breath and call it our own. In examining the breath we are able to see the true nature of reality. It is always changing and impermanent. Can we also develop the same self-less awareness of the breath for every other object that comes in to our awareness?

– Phil Blustein