Breathe in the abdomen, she said…..visualize the abdomen rising as you inhale and falling as you exhale!
I watched my abdomen, eyes wide open (she had said to keep them closed).
It was frustrating; my mind did not want to participate! I closed my eyes. Ok, relax now, you can do this! And it began with very jerky breaths, abdomen moving all over but slowly it started….rising when inhaling and falling when exhaling!
Everything got quiet; it was interesting to watch the breath, and as I did, it became slower…..and slower. I was awake, I was present and I was relaxed. There was no mantra, only the breath; and I was relaxed!
Being in a state of meditation means being present with what is. Breathing, following the breath, helps focus the mind and bring you back to the present moment. Recognizing the important connection between meditation and breathing, the Buddha taught attention to the breath as a fundamental meditation technique. He said, “Being sensitive to the whole body, the yogi breathes in; being sensitive to the whole body, the yogi breathes out.”
The breath is always with us; if we pay attention to it or not! We breathe to live. Just following the breath flowing in and out is a very powerful tool to relax our body and our mind so that we can calmly observe and respond to situation around us, rather than react impulsively to them.
Following the breath with awareness teaches us to release negative thoughts and emotions which are part of everyone’s life. It is impossible to banish negativity by fighting thoughts; instead watching those thoughts with awareness allow us to release them, instead of identifying with them and therefore giving them power.
Following the breath also brings our awareness to how our body feels; it may release pain or tension in the body; it may feel blocked in parts of the body.
Breathing with awareness brings quietness to the mind resulting in a feeling of happiness and inner peace.
The breath is the connection with body and mind; it is life!