“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”
From long standing family tensions to the financial strain to the present giving pressures, the Christmas season can be difficult to navigate with grace. This week’s meditation is a time to stop and breathe. Mindful breathing is an ancient meditation practices, easy to learn and a powerful tool to calm the mind. With renewed calmness, we are better able to deal with all this season may bring.
Breathing meditation directs your attention to the breath, not making yourself breathe, but noticing it. You may find your mind wanders quickly off. The practice is to keep returning to your breath, without guilt or struggle or shame, after each distraction. Slowly, the distractions become shorter and it is easier to return to the breath. With regular practice, your mind will settle and you may become calm, steady, and peaceful.
While beginners can best practice breathing meditation at home, for 5 to 15 minutes, you can also tune in to your breathing at your office desk or at the mall. Taking a few moments to pay attention to your breathing can help ground and center you.
If you like support, look for a meditation site that has a voice you find soothing. You can try the app Calm (which requires signing up, but has some good free meditations) or Headspace which has a wide variety of meditations. Meditation Oasis is a good website for guided meditation. This page explains breathing meditation and offers a nine minute meditation. The link directly to the audio clip is below.