Breathing in….

Listen….Are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?  – Mary Oliver

Thich Nhat Hanh shares how easy it is to connect to our breath.

When you breathe in, and you are aware of your in-breath, you touch the miracle of being alive. That is why mindfulness is a source of happiness and joy. When your mind is there with your body, you are established in the present moment.

So the object of your mindfulness is your breath, and you just focus your attention on it. Breathing in, this is my in-breath. Breathing out, this is my out-breath. When you do that, the mental discourse will stop. You don’t think anymore.

So next time you’re stopped at a red light, you might like to sit back and practice this exercise: “Breathing in, I’m aware of my body. Breathing out, I release the tension in my body.”

Peace is possible at that moment, and it can be practiced many times a day—in the workplace, while you are driving, while you are cooking, while you are doing the dishes, while you are watering the vegetable garden. It is always possible to practice releasing the tension in yourself, it is always possible to practice feeling peace.

“Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields…Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.” ~ Mary Oliver

32 thoughts on “Breathing in….

      1. I don’t know if we can define it. I would like to say that perhaps we are speaking from our soul or heart which is always guided by spirit. That to me is spirituality. Thankyou Nico.

  1. I love Thich Nhat Hanh and I love Mary Oliver. Both touch such places of peace within me. Thanks Karen. Good reminder to be aware of breathing multiple times a day.

  2. These are so simple but fundamental teachings. I wish I had understood – and practiced – this earlier in life. The stress barometer would have stayed at the lower end of the scale much more often 🙂

    1. I have been teaching some of these techniques to my 13yr old daughter Helen, and I was thinking the same thoughts. It is such a gift to learn and understand early on that we have the ability to change the way we think and feel through our breath, connection and stillness. I feel very honored to share this with her and my older daughter.

  3. That first Oliver quote is one of my favorites! I use it to remind myself to breathe in the moment, but also to breathe in the metaphorical sense–to take risk, venture after what I want, etc. Great post!

  4. Very sage advice, and I am always a bit taken aback with how our breathing affects our mind, emotions and performance ~ but then I think about it and it is true… “Breathing in, I’m aware of my body. Breathing out, I release the tension in my body.” 🙂

  5. Karen when I was younger I never understood how important the breath was in yoga. These days I have discovered it’s magic. It is everything and nothing at the same moment. I use to strain to get the breath right and now after some practice in my meditation and yoga, I don’t even notice it when I am doing it right. If that makes any sense?

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