Breathing meditation is the best starting point when you’re new to meditation and also a good place to return to frequently if you’re a more experienced practitioner.
By focusing the attention on the breath, the mind has a single-pointed focus so that distraction is minimized. Once the mind is calmed in this way, we can achieve space and peace in the mind bringing a greater awareness of our selves and our surroundings.
It’s easy to try anywhere and can help reduce stress, tension and anxiety almost immediately.
To try a simple breathing meditation…
Sit in a comfortable position on a cushion on the floor or on a chair. Keeping the back straight but not tense. Allow the eyes to close naturally, allowing a small amount of light in to help stay alert. Place the hands in the lap with the palms facing upward; one hand resting on top of the other.
Start to feel the sensation of the breath entering the nostrils. Cool air enters as we inhale and warm air leaves as we exhale. Focus your attention on the sensations of breathing. In your mind, follow the flow of air to the lungs and back out. Don’t try to adjust the breathing or count the length of the breath; just let it flow naturally.
Thoughts will enter your mind and draw your attention away. When you notice this happening, gently bring the attention back to the breath. Try sitting for 5 minutes a day with breathing meditation and notice how your mind feels.