calming mindful breathing

::

Image result for plum village bell

::

Thích Nhất Hạnh:

I have a breathing exercise that I would like to offer you. I’m sure that if you follow this exercise in difficult moments, you will find relief.

Breathing in, I know I am breathing in.

Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.

Breathing in, my breath grows deep.

Breathing out, my breath grows slow.

Breathing in, I feel calm.

Breathing out, I feel ease.

Breathing in, I smile.

Breathing out, I release.

Breathing in, I dwell in the present moment.

Breathing out, I know this is a wonderful moment.

 

These verses can be summarized in the following way:

In, Out;

Deep, Slow;

Calm, Ease;

Smile, Release;

Present Moment, Wonderful Moment.  

First we practice “In, Out.” Breathing in, we say, “In,” silently, in order to nourish the awareness that we are breathing in. When we breathe out, we say, “Out,” aware that we are breathing out. Each word is a guide to help us return to our breathing in the present moment. We can repeat, “In, Out” until we find our concentration is peaceful and solid.

Then we say, “Deep” with the next in-breath and “Slow” with the next out-breath. When we breathe consciously, our breathing becomes deeper and slower, more peaceful and pleasant. We continue to breathe “Deep, Slow, Deep, Slow,” until we want to move to the next phrase, which is “Calm, Ease.”

“Calm” means we calm our body, we bring peace to our body. Breathing in, I bring the element of calm into my body. If we have a feeling or an emotion that makes us feel less peaceful, then calming means to calm that feeling or emotion. Breathing in, I calm my emotions. Breathing in, I calm my feelings. When we breathe out, we say, “Ease,” which means being light, relaxed, feeling that nothing is as important as our well-being. When we have mastered “Calm, Ease,” we move to “Smile, Release.”

When we breathe in, even if we do not feel great joy at the moment, we can still smile. When we smile, our joy and peace become even more settled, and tension vanishes. When we breathe out, we say, “Release.” We release what is making us suffer—an idea, a fear, a worry, anger. And at last, we return to “Present Moment, Wonderful Moment.” “Breathing in, I dwell in the present moment. Breathing out, I feel this is a wonderful moment.”

Remember, the Buddha said that the present moment is the only moment when life is available to us. So in order to touch life deeply, we have to come back to the present moment. Our breath is like a bridge connecting our bodies and our minds. In our daily lives, our bodies may be in one place and our minds somewhere else—in the past or in the future. This is called a state of distraction. The breath is a connection between the body and the mind. When you begin to breathe in and out mindfully, your body will come back to your mind and your mind will go back to your body. You will be able to realize the oneness of body and mind and become fully present and fully alive in the here and now. You will be in a position to touch life deeply in the moment. This is not difficult. Everyone can do it.

source

::

::

::

The following links are audio recordings of mindfulness breathing exercises by Thích Nhất Hạnh, the Vietnamese Buddhist monk, zen master, teacher, author, poet and peace activist. He lives in the Plum Village Monastery in the Dordogne region in the South of France. These meditations were recorded there.

::

1) Short introduction spoken by Thích Nhất Hạnh (2:49) audio here

2) Bell meditation: just the sound of the bell at intervals to allow mindful breathing in the intervals (38:21) audio here

3) Guided bell meditation spoken by Sister Jina van Hengel, Plum Village Monastery, France (9:51) audio here

     This bell meditation includes the following phases of focus:

  • In, Out;
  • Deep, Slow;
  • Calm, Ease;
  • Smile, Release;
  • Present Moment, Wonderful Moment

4) Guided bell meditation to become more attuned to our body spoken by Sister Jina van Hengel (16:12) audio here

5) Guided bell meditation on myself as a child and my parents spoken by Sister Jina van Hengel (12:34) audio here

::

Introduction spoken by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh:

This is the sound of the bell in Plum Village.

The bell is invited by me to sound for you for your daily practice.

Our practice in Plum Village is to enjoy the breathing in and out between the sounds of the bell.

The sound is there to help you concentrate and to enjoy your breathing.

When you listen to the bell deeply in a relaxed way, breathing in deeply, you enjoy your breathing, and breathing out, enjoying just the sound of the bell and your breathing, you calm your body, you calm your emotions, you stop all your thinking.

If every day you practice for 10 or 20 or 30 minutes of breathing with the bell, you will restore yourself, you will restore your peace, your joy and your freedom.

You are alive. To be alive is a wonder.

Breathing itself is a miracle, and when you breathe you touch deeply the fact that you are alive.

We are glad to offer you these sounds from Plum Village

::

from the Discourse on the Full Awareness of Breathing:

“It is like this, bhikkhus: the practitioner goes into the forest or to the foot of a tree, or to any deserted place, sits stably in the lotus position, holding his or her body quite straight, and practices like this: ‘Breathing in, I know I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.’

1. ‘Breathing in a long breath, I know I am breathing in a long breath. Breathing out a long breath, I know I am breathing out a long breath.

2. ‘Breathing in a short breath, I know I am breathing in a short breath. Breathing out a short breath, I know I am breathing out a short breath.

3. ‘Breathing in, I am aware of my whole body. Breathing out, I am aware of my whole body.’ He or she practices like this.

4. ‘Breathing in, I calm my whole body. Breathing out, I calm my whole body.’ He or she practices like this.

5. ‘Breathing in, I feel joyful. Breathing out, I feel joyful.’ He or she practices like this.

6. ‘Breathing in, I feel happy. Breathing out, I feel happy.’ He or she practices like this.

7. ‘Breathing in, I am aware of my mental formations. Breathing out, I am aware of my mental formations.’ He or she practices like this.

8. ‘Breathing in, I calm my mental formations. Breathing out, I calm my mental formations.’ He or she practices like this.

9. ‘Breathing in, I am aware of my mind. Breathing out, I am aware of my mind.’ He or she practices like this.

10. ‘Breathing in, I make my mind happy. Breathing out, I make my mind happy.’ He or she practices like this.

11. ‘Breathing in, I concentrate my mind. Breathing out, I concentrate my mind.’ He or she practices like this.

12. ‘Breathing in, I liberate my mind. Breathing out, I liberate my mind.’ He or she practices like this.

13. ‘Breathing in, I observe the impermanent nature of all dharmas. Breathing out, I observe the impermanent nature of all dharmas.’ He or she practices like this.

14. ‘Breathing in, I observe the disappearance of desire. Breathing out, I observe the disappearance of desire.’ He or she practices like this.

15. ‘Breathing in, I observe the no-birth, no-death nature of all phenomena. Breathing out, I observe the no-birth, no-death nature of all phenomena.’ He or she practices like this.

16. ‘Breathing in, I observe letting go. Breathing out, I observe letting go.’ He or she practices like this.

“The Full Awareness of Breathing, if developed and practiced continuously according to these instructions, will be rewarding and of great benefit.”

source

::

::

::

Thích Nhất Hạnh

Thích Nhất Hạnh

[You can purchase the cd or also the mp3 download of these Bell Meditations on sale at the moment here: http://www.soundstrue.com/shop/Plum-Village-Meditations/357.pd] ~~~

Advertisements

One thought on “calming mindful breathing

  1. Pingback: you are alive in this moment | New Earth Heartbeat

I love your comments - What are your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.