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"Everything Begins with The Breath"

When I am in the contemplation phase of any form of desired change, that time needs to be formalized. Fifteen to thirty minutes each day (often 2 or 3 times a day) for focused meditation on the nature of that change - how it will impact my daily life, and the lives of those I love dearly.

My breath is the foundation of every moment, and for me, the process of my breathing is key. For many years I have tried many different breathing techniques, that came to my attention through my research, and I have always returned to the process I found most comfortable and most effective. For what it is worth, this has been, and continues to be, my process of mindful breath and focused meditation.

  1. Finding a quiet space to sit or lay on my back.

  2. Bring my attention to the breath - eyes closed, the back of my tongue blocks access to my windpipe as I take the cool, deep breath in, filling my lungs and abdomen, a slight pause as my tongue shifts forward, to allow the slow, warm breath out through my relaxed mouth.

  3. Mindful of every deep cool breath in, and every slow warm breath out - thoughts simply float in and out of mind, as they always do when we don't attach to any of them, and I remain in my body, experiencing the relaxation of all muscles, tendons and joints, with every slow breath out. (sometimes I will spend about five minutes with this singular focus, other times just a couple of minutes). My subconscious mind clued into the importance of the diaphragmatic breathing for my physical and mental wellness, and has successfully made this habitual.

  4. After a few minutes, my body relaxed and my mind calm, I shift my attention to the contemplation of change (or an inspirational metaphor - Koan) and watch the thoughts, images and sensations that arise, mostly about the change I desire to make, even though other, random thoughts pop into mind, I maintain my focus and they float away. This daily practice helps me to move along my aging and painful path, allowing me to notice, and fully experience the moments of joy that, thankfully, continue to arise.


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