The term meditation simply defines being at the present state at what it is. Breathing and following the breath help you in focusing and bringing everything back at the present moment. Before you begin with meditation you can recognize the vital connection between breathing and meditation. According to Buddha, paying attention to the breath is the fundamental technique applied for meditation as He said, “While being sensitive to the entire body, the yogi would simply breathe in while being sensitive to the entire body, the yogi can breathe out as well”.
In the famous classic guide for practicing meditation, “Wherever You Go, There You Are“(aff.link), Jon Kabat-Zinn specifies about the importance of breathing and writes: “It helps in maintaining focus to get the attention, an anchor line for tethering you for the current moment and to guide back while your mind wanders.
This purpose gets served well with breath… This brings awareness to breathing as we constantly remind ourselves that now we’re here. Awareness of deep breathing in and out helps to nurture mindfulness in you while breathing in, you know you’re breathing and while breathing out you know that you’re breathing. There are a whole lot of deep breathing benefits for the mind, body, and soul as well.
Breathing for Enlightening
According to Vietnamese author and Zen master Thich Bhat Hanh meditation is the ideal way for the development of deep inside leading to sheer enlightening through awakening. He emphasizes that meditative breathing is a fine tool for calming your mind so you can get an insight to look out for any issues. With proper breathing techniques, you can stimulate compassion and strengthen mind concentration, while awakening the true nature of each person.
Relaxation through breathing
Whatever you do, breath is always there with you. While you’re practicing breathing and meditation you’ll acquire skills that can be used whenever you have to clear or relax your mind. All you need to do is follow few breaths in and out which can relax the body and mind in a quick way that lets you observe and respond to the surrounding world, instead of mindlessly bringing on reactions to different events. The technique of mindful breathing isn’t only a technique used for formal mediation but is also valid in your day to day life.
Breathing is essential for getting rid of negativity
Almost everyone in the world associates with different thoughts, memories, and feelings. So if you’re trying to banish negativity it wouldn’t be of much use. Instead, the main challenge lies in selecting negative thoughts while letting these pass rather than identifying these and providing higher power than they deserve.
With meditative breathing, you practice to relieve stress and anxiety from the mind and body such as troubling thoughts, feelings. As you’re more into quieting the mind after paying attention to breathing, all distractions lose the power fail to disturb you at all.
Connecting mind and body with breathing
Kabat-Zinn emphasizes on the establishing links between breathing and meditation he writes, “The breath currently connects mind and body and it is the current of life.” Meditative breathing remains a fine way to link with now and here, which is simply life. (Further reading: 8 Health Benefits of Meditation – What the Newest Research Shows)
Science behind focusing on breathing while meditating
Breathing is the linking factor between the subconsciousness and the consciousness, between the mind and the body. In fact, this is the general ability that helps us in controlling the body and the mind, and also bring change in lives and karma. According to all Buddhism schools, Anapanasati (mindfulness of breathing) was the first teaching of Buddha.
Zen teachers mainly compare breathing at the time of meditating to anchor. The breath is also the life force. When the force is stifled, it also impacts well-being. When we can mindfully help ourselves in better breathing we generally remain natural in our approach. With mindful breathing, we also can avoid getting lost in daily life.
Deep breathing effects on the brain
When we breathe in and out during the meditation process, our thoughts also mostly travel in and out. Even most seasoned meditators continuously get bombarded with countless thoughts while they’re sitting idle. On the other hand, the human mind always remains active at work. This is why it is really important to take time each day to sort everything out in silence.
With practicing intrusive skills you can simply let go thoughts without forcing or judging those. This can be a little nuanced process and it can also take up a little time for getting adjusted. Still, with each session, we can express true ourselves while following the consistency of natural breathing. (Further reading: 4 Documented Meditation Benefits for the Brain You have to know)
While you dwell on thoughts, it would be like holding your breath. While you’re holding your breath for a long time, you would become tenser and tenser. You will face a lack of oxygen. You can easily become red and stifled and feel a strong desire to exhale. The same thing happens with thoughts as well. While we’re holding these and expanding, they can easily drown and propel us in further delusion. Day by day, our own thoughts suffocate us.
During meditation when we are focusing away from our thoughts we can learn to let it go from our day to day lives.
This is why we concentrate on meditation as the heart of Zen practice and we focus on the breath as the meditation’s heart. We won’t think of breathing in a certain way for counting breathing or also controlling it. We simply become mindful of typical breathing and let this guide us into a state beyond our thoughts.
Thus it would be the choice made at the time of meditation for concentration: to persist or resist. While persisting, all things are quite clear to us and all our thoughts simply fade away. While resisting we only add up to clinging and suffering to upcoming thoughts.
Breathing with meditation
So, what would be the best way to practice meditation technique anywhere?
You just have to take out a few seconds for noticing breaths. Now feel the air as it flows down your nostrils into your airways and makes way into lungs. You must gently fill lungs with oxygen by slowly breathing in the air around you.
Once you’ve filled your lungs with air, you must hold your breath, maybe only for a split second, or for a second or two. Now try to hold your breath for long. Then again you can breathe out and pay attention to the overall feel of the air as it can travel back in your airways and leave again through the nostrils or mouth.
After repeating the whole process a few times, you’ll certainly feel calmed and relaxed.
There are a whole lot of ways to make meditation and breathing more complicated. Although deep down, it’s true essence, you’ll just need to breathe in a more focused way. (Further reading: How to Find a Comfortable Meditation Position)
For a systematic session, you can reach out for a quiet place. It can be a room inside your house or just a seat in your local park or garden. Switch off your television and your cell phone. Move away any children or noisy animals, or you can just keep a distance from them.
Now you can perform breathing meditation in the way mentioned above. However, due to the quiet location that you selected, chances are there that you’ll notice various things around you from which you were hiding in plain sight. All these things are generally sounds such as bird sounds, buzzing bees, and distant traffic noises or babbling water. Or these can be simply pleasant aromas.
Keep on practicing
According to the same old saying “the key to success is just practice… lots of it!” You’ll get the best possible meditation benefits with just practicing it on a daily basis. Even while you’ve got only a few minutes in your hand, you should try our best for practicing meditation and breathing techniques. You’ll know that just like any physical exercise, the more you meditate the better you simply become at controlling your emotions and keeping your calm in almost all types of situations.
We are often told to maintain conscious breathing while we are in Yoga classes. Conscious breathing is the main essence of Yoga as it primarily assists in linking with subtle inner energy. Through the breath, we can simply make out a way to different conscious levels. Conscious breathing impacts our physical and mental state.
If you’re meditating with closed eyes, you would notice that all colors seem to be more vibrant after opening your eyes again. You won’t have to worry while you notice different things that you’re not at all noticing earlier. Everyone responds differently and some people would notice all items immediately while others would require quite a few sessions for the same.
Regardless of this you should be content and assured that you’ve implemented the right technique for breathing in and out during meditation.
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