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Leader Resource 1: Breathing Meditation
Lie on your back in a comfortable position with arms and legs extended. If there is any pain in your back, place a pillow under your knees. Move your legs so that the distance between your feet is slightly greater than the width of your hips. Move your arms so that your hands are about nine inches from your sides. Please be comfortable.
Let yourself feel the weight of your body. Trust that the earth is there to support you. Trust that the weight of the body will be supported by the earth. Accept the support of the earth.
Listen to the sound of your breath. Listen to the sound of the breath as it enters the body. Be completely absorbed in listening to the sound of the breath. Does the breath have a soft sound, or does the breath have a harsh sound? Tune the sound of your breath as a musician would tune an instrument. Let the sound of your breath be soft and full.
Notice how your breath flows in. Does the breath come in one side of the nose more than the other? Is one nostril more open than the other? Notice if it changes as you continue breathing.
Feel how the breath flows up into the head. What does it sound like?
Mentally trace the path of the breath as it enters the nose and flows up into the head and then down the throat. How does the sound change? Is the throat open and soft? Relax the throat. Let it feel warm and open as the breath flows down the throat and into the chest.
Mentally trace the path of the breath down the chest and into the lungs. What does the breath sound like as it enters the chest? Be soft as you let the chest fill to the brim with breath.
Notice how the breath enters the chest. Do both sides of the chest fill equally? Does one side of the chest expand more than the other side of the chest? Fill both sides of the chest equally and listen to the sound of the breath as it fills the lungs.
Now listen to the sounds of the breath as it leaves the lungs. Keep the chest full as you exhale, and listen to the sound of the exhalation.
Mentally follow the path of the breath out of the chest, the throat, and the nose, and keep listening to the sound of the breath.
Keep breathing consciously and listening to the breath as the mind comes to a restful place.
[Allow two or three minutes of silence for continuation of conscious breathing.]
Notice where the mind has gone. Is it still on the breath, or did it wander off? Where did it go? Bring the mind back by listening to the breath.
Deepen each breath and bring the mind back into your body. Now roll to the right side and let your eyes softly open. When you feel ready, come up to a seated position.