Monday 12 November 2018

Breath as Anchor

Breath is the essence of life, yet breathing seems so simple.

It can be a powerful tool to align our thoughts and bring our mind to a peaceful meditative state. In particular, controlled breathing—purposeful and focused breathing that anchors you to the here and now—can help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed or anxious.

Ships and boats in the harbour need to be anchored at the shore else they would drift away if a storm were to occur at night. 

Focused breathing is like an anchor in the midst of an emotional storm, the anchor won’t get rid of the storm, but it will hold you steady until it passes.

 Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh gives an example of this in Peace is Every Step (1991)
"During the past few years I have avoided tiring myself and losing my breath. I must take care of my body, treat it with respect as a musician does his instrument."

We practice this at our group meditation sessions and some of the participants have experienced heightened awareness of both external and internal sounds. They have become more mindful of their emotions and are able to quickly achieve the balance in day to day life.

This can be done anytime, anywhere as no special equipment's are required.  Research shows that a few minutes of mindfulness practice results in increased productivity. 

With continuous practice we can become aware when our mind wanders and where it wanders to. We get clarity on our thoughts. What are we feeling excited, passionate, stressed, upset about, or interested in? 

 The breath becomes your anchor to which you return in order to stabilize your thoughts and sail smoothly once again in the ocean of life.

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