MEDITATION & BREATH
There are many things in life that are beyond our control. However, it is possible to take responsibility for our own states of mind – and to change them for the better. This is one of the most important things we can do,
Meditation is a means of transforming the mind. There are techniques that encourage and develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, and a calm seeing of the true nature of things. By engaging with a particular
meditation practice you learn the patterns and habits of your mind, and the practice offers a means to cultivate new, more positive ways of being. With regular work and patience these nourishing, focused states of mind can deepen into profoundly peaceful and energized states of mind. Such experiences can have a transformative effect and can lead to a new understanding of life.
By now there’s a good chance you’ve heard the term “mindfulness.” It seems to be everywhere—touted as the new yoga, the answer to stress, the alternative to Xanax. But beyond the buzz, what is it? Jon Kabat-Zinn, the scientist and widely recognized father of contemporary, medically based mindfulness—over 30 years ago he developed a therapeutic meditation practice known as Mindful Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)—defines mindfulness simply as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.”
That’s the short version. To expand on that just a little, mindfulness is a meditation practice that begins with paying attention to breathing in order to focus on the here and now—not what might have been or what we’re worried could be. The ultimate goal is to give us enough distance from disturbing thoughts and emotions to be able to observe them without immediately reacting to them.
It is important to practice Mindfulness when meditating. As its name implies, the ‘Mindfulness of Breathing’ uses the breath as an object of concentration. By focusing on the breath webecome aware of the mind’s tendency to jump from one thing to another. The simple discipline of concentration brings us back to the present moment and all the richness of experience that it contains. The mindfulness of breathing is a good antidote to restlessness, anxiety, and pain. Using the breath in meditation and mindfullness is a good way to relax: concentration on the breath has a positive effect on our entire physical and mental state. When we use conscious breathing, the cells within our body are receiving more oxygen which also aids in healing on a cellular level as well as the balance and flow of the energy within.