Breath Awareness Meditation
Find a comfortable position. It is suggested that you sit up, to avoid falling asleep. However, if it is uncomfortable to sit, then you may lie down. Softly close your eyes.
Note: The first few times you practice this meditation, you will need to do it with your eyes gently open as you follow the instructions. Keep your gaze down, do not glance around the room as this will cause your mind to wander more easily.
Begin by bringing your awareness to the back of your head, the back of your neck and to your right and left shoulder.
Take a slow breath in and out through your nostrils, and on the exhale, allow your shoulders to come down and release. Do this for a few breaths.
Now, bring your awareness to your mouth and unclench your jaw. Create some space between your upper and lower teeth.
Relax your tongue on the roof of your mouth just behind your two front teeth, resting on your upper palate.
Mouth, jaw, shoulders, and neck begin to soften and release.
Begin to simply witness your breath flowing; the body simply breathing itself. Or if you like, take the breath you need, remembering the longer the inhale, the longer the exhale; breathing slowly.
Breathing in and out through your nostrils, continue to witness the flow of your breath.
After a few breaths, begin to silently think the words, “I am breathing in,” on the inhale and “I am breathing out” on the exhale.
Now, notice the space in between the inhale and the exhale. That space where the breath turns around from an in-breath to an out-breath. Simply acknowledge that space or if you like, linger there, and you decide when the breath turns around from an inhale to an exhale.
Don’t hold your breath; just linger there for a moment.
You will notice your attention will drift from following your breath to the thoughts that are flowing. That is fine.
Each time it happens, bring your gentle focus back to the awareness of your breath flowing, without judgment.
Continue to follow your breath for as long as you feel comfortable. Preferably 5-10 minutes.
When you are ready to end the practice, stop thinking the words, I am breathing in and I am breathing out.
Allow the body to breathe itself without drawing your attention to the flow. Sit for a moment or two.
In this place of stillness and before you open your eyes, ask yourself, “What do I want?” and allow the space for answers to flow.
Then ask yourself, “What am I grateful for,” and once again, allow the answers flow.
Take a nice slow breath in and exhale through pursed lips.
Tuck your chin. Open your eyes, gaze down at your lap, hands, or the ground in front of you.
Acknowledge a feeling of peacefulness.
Bring your gaze up and look around.
Take a few moments before getting up and on with your day.
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