Monday, 2 June 2008
Focus for June 08 : The Breath
For the next few weeks I am going to be preparing for a free workshop as part of the Meditate08 conference [www.meditate08.com] ~ more on that later!
In deciding on a theme for the workshop I tried to recall a simple and profound "ah-ha" moment that stands out from my own meditation journey. Undoubtedly it would have to be the direction I received for finding and watching the breath. I have continued to use various breath exercises and meditation for the many years since. So simple... yet so demanding too.
The breath plays a crucial role for the meditator and reference is found in almost all meditative traditions – it is like the ‘master switch’ in that the breath can quickly centre and relax us (introducing us to stillness); act as our anchor (teaching us concentration and focus) and also gently lead us on the path to deeper states of meditation.
So let's all journey across cultures, countries and ages to explore what has been written about the breath.. and the link between concentration on the breath, meditation and well being. In Hatha Yoga Pradipika (one of the oldest classic sanskrit texts on Hatha Yoga) it is said.. if our breathing is chaotic, our minds and emotions will be chaotic.. if our breathing is steady, our minds and emotions will be steady....
As you become familiar with your own breath and observe it's changing nature through life’s ups and downs you can readily test this yourself through the day. Stopping and bringing our attention to our breath in moments of high tension or anxiety – will be the perfect and immediate antidote to increasing stress and inbalance.
Our breath is an amazingly sensitive barometer that registers our reactions to life and events around us, both internally and externally.