Book Club Meeting, Chapter 2: Breathing

The second chapter of Making Space by Thich Nhat Hanh is all about one of the most incredible powers we possess: the power to breathe.

Human breath is so complex in terms of all that it does within our bodies, yet letting air in and out of the lungs is a task so simple; so natural. Breathing mindfully is a beautiful way to form a body-mind connection. We’re already breathing at any given moment – all it takes to turn one breath into a meditation tool is the simple acknowledgement of it.

Conscious breathing is a treat to both the body and mind. It’s unbelievably refreshing and rejuvenating. Even just a few mindful breaths in and out can have a wonderful impact on our lives – and the more we do it, the more natural and habitual it becomes.

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In the beginning, breathing mindfully isn’t easy… well, remembering to breathe mindfully isn’t easy. That’s why it can be helpful to set certain reminders for yourself. I personally have two pleasant-sounding alarms on my phone set at random times each day, both with the label “Breathe.” I’ll admit, when those alarms go off, I often find myself in the midst of doing something and I just don’t feel like stopping to pay attention to my breathing… but I recognize that these are the times when it’s most important to do so.

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Another idea is to hang a wind chime right outside your window. Whenever you hear those beautiful tones, come back to your breathing. Shush any thoughts running wild within your head, and smile as you fill your lungs up with fresh air and let it back out again.

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Really anything can be used as a reminder to breathe: a note on the wall… a specific piece of jewelry… do whatever works best for you.

I love this gatha that Nhat Hanh recommends as a way to practice breathing mindfully:

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“If we don’t have peace and joy right now,” he asks, “how can we have peace and joy tomorrow, or after tomorrow?”

I believe the answer to that is one we already know.

+ How do you remind yourself to breathe?

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This is full of such amazing tips! I really adore the wind chime one, and the alarm is such a savvy way to incorporate it into your life. Yoga definitely helped me learn about all of the parts of breath.

Warm Regards,
Alexandra
http://www.littlewildheart.com

Really great post – a lot of people have simply forgotten how to breathe over time. I know it sounds so funny because we all clearly DO breathe in and out otherwise we wouldn’t be living for long! But actual mindful breathing is something rare these days and the only places I have encountered mindful breathing has been in singing classes/lessons or yoga.

It is so amazing what mindful breathing can do to calm and cleanse the mind, body, and soul.

Rae | love from berlin

My regular yoga practice helps me to remember to breathe mindfully. It’s such a simple thing that can make such an enormous difference. You can almost feel the stress melt away.

The Weaver Of Words…..give me 15 words and I’ll tell you a tale
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Maria

Great! I want to start my yoga and meditation practice it really helps to calm down and to connect to myself!

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