Breath Meditation, Visualisation

Black and White Breathing


We’re coming to the end of another year; Christmas is just around the corner and New Year’s resolutions about to be made. Perhaps we’ll look back on 2018 with a smile, or perhaps regret or sadness. And we’ll consider what 2019 will hold and set some goals for ourselves and our families.

I thought this meditation apt for the season; one I learned about in David Michie’s Buddhism for Busy People many years ago but have never once given a go. Until now!

It’s a visualisation and breath meditation which can help us clear out negative energy, perhaps from 2018, and invite positive energy for 2019 into our lives.

So give it a go, it might just help you stick to that New Year’s resolution after all!

Merry Christmas everyone! xx

Hi there. Welcome. Let’s get ourselves ready for a meditation. First, checking in with our posture. Closing our eyes, or lowering our gaze. Relaxed hands and shoulders. Relaxed jaw, chin tucked in. And relaxed belly.

In this mediation we are going to be practicing a visualisation with the breath.

Breathing positive energy in; in the form of a beautiful white light that enters with our breath and fills up our entire being.

And breathing negative energy out; in the form of black smoke that we expel with every exhalation.

Inviting positive energy in, releasing negative energy out.


Just for now, let’s concentrate on the in-breath.

As you take a deep breath in, imagine with it a pure white light, entering your body, coming along for the ride.

Enveloping all the muscles, and the bones. Organs, and veins.

Coming up in through your nostrils and travelling through your bloodstream until it permeates every cell in your entire body.

Breathing in so much radiant white light that is spills out from your pores creating a golden halo for you to bathe in.

Practice this for a few in-breaths on your own.

And now let’s focus on the out-breath.

As you exhale, visualise the breath as a thick black smoke.

Exiting the body; representing all the negative energy stored in the deepest recesses of your mind and being.

Purging this energy, letting it out.

Taking a long, deliberate exhalation until you expunge the last of that smoky breath from your body.

We’ll now combine the two visualisations.

Breathing in white light, breathing out black smoke.

White light… black smoke.

And as you get further into the visualsation, you might also find it helpful to relate the white light and black smoke to something more specific.

Perhaps to do with the meditation itself:

Breathing in alertness, breathing out dullness.

Breathing in patience, breathing out restlessness.

Or, perhaps there’s a wider issue that’s going on in your life.

Breathing in health and healing, breathing out illness and pain.

Breathing in calm, breathing out anxiety.

Breathing in confidence, breathing out fear.

Breathing in compassion, breathing out judgement.

Breathing in what you need, and breathing out what you want to let go.

We’ll now spend some time practicing this in silence. Filling up your being with that brilliant white light and releasing black smoky negative energy for as many breaths as you need.

2 thoughts on “Black and White Breathing”

  1. Every time I try visualing breathing in white smoke and breathing out black smoke I am unable to do it, I see only blackness no matter how hard I try! Whenever I try visualing anything else I can do it with ease and see it in great detail, everything except smoke, I just can’t seem to visualise that! Is there anything I can do that will help me visualise smoke?

    1. Rebecca Crozier says:

      Hi Jason, thanks for your comment. I want you to know that this meditation (and all meditations) are simply an idea; a suggestion or a prompt – and there’s nothing wrong with you if you don’t gel with what’s suggested.

      There’s a reverse practice called Tonglen, you may know about it, where you breathe in black smoke and breathe out white light. I could certainly never do that one! Breathing in black smoke almost makes me choke. However, when I turned the black smoke into something else – a texture, a feeling of heaviness, then I was able to get the benefit of that practice.

      What I suggest is exploring what the two colours mean to you. Usually, the black smoke is related to a heaviness, some suffering, perhaps a difficult emotion. The white light is related perhaps to healing, energy, lightness. Perhaps there is another texture, colour, shape, vision that helps you relate to these qualities?

      Let me know how you go 🙂

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