Next month:
March 2010

February 2010

the air that I breathe.....

For a short time, as you breath in and out, notice the sensation of the air filling your lungs. For a moment, put a hand 3 or 4 inches below your nose and feel the out-breath.

Watch the clouds being moved by the wind. Give thanks for air, for the conditions that created the air. Think of all the planets in our solar system. Here we are, on planet Earth, the planet with this delicate atmosphere that surrounds us and supports all life.
Breathing in and out, I am grateful for air to breathe
Breathing in and out, I think of all people, all creatures that are breathing at this moment

one breath at a time - awareness of breathing

This week, at odd moments in the day and for a period while you are sitting or lying, rest the hand lightly on the diaphram or abdomen and notice the movement as the breath goes in and out.

Breathing in, I am aware that I am breathing in

Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out 

(*Thich Nhat Hanh)

Reflect on the fact that we can control the breath - holding it, breathing faster or slower - but only for short periods at a time. How fortunate that we do not have to be focused at all times in order to breathe! However we may feel at any time - well, ill, joyful, sad, worried, relaxed - our breathing has continued from the moment of our birth right up to this present moment and, for the most part, without our active input into the process.  

Spend a few moments contemplating how precious, vital, each breath is to you - imagine for a moment how you would feel if the next breath was to be your last. Allow yourself to feel gratitude for the process of breathing:

Breathing in, my body is nurtured

Breathing out, I give thanks for my breath


a very simple loving-kindness meditation

To add to Monday Metta, or at any other time:

When you start the practice and at times when you feel you can only manage a little.....perhaps as you light your candle...here is a simple loving-kindness meditation:

As you breathe in – cherish yourself


As you breathe out – cherish all beings

If you find it difficult to feel that you are caring for yourself, just lay a hand gently on your heart region as you think or say these phrases. You can use them when you sit for dedicated times of meditation practice. You can also use them as a 'post it note' practice. Maybe you'd like to write them out and stick them up somewhere you can see them, to remind you throughout the day.