Breath Meditation



I think one of the most frustrating parts about learning to meditate, is how simple the instruction sounds but how deceptively challenging it can be. (Like trying not to think about a pink elephant.)

When we’re learning to focus our attention on our breath we quickly discover how powerful our thoughts are at derailing us. And despite being instructed to be kind to ourselves, to go easy; in our quest to succeed, this crucial part of the equation is ignored, missed or devalued. (Because who ever got anywhere by being ‘gentle’?)

So whether you’re just starting out or have been meditating for a while, you might find this gentle breath meditation less frustrating and more enjoyable.

Welcome to this meditation. Thank you for joining me.

Go ahead, make yourself comfortable.

Find a relaxing place to rest your hands.

Place your attention on the space surrounding your spine… and gently rest in that area for a few moments.

Take a deep breath in. And a deep breath out.

Making a connection with the breath.

Locating the breath at the tip of your nose. Feeling the cool air as it passes in through your nostrils.

For the next little while, let’s keep our focus just on the in-breath.

Notice where we feel it as it hits different parts of our body.

Nose. Throat. Chest. Belly.

Keeping our focus quite narrow; deliberately simple.

And reminding ourselves to be ever so gentle when this basic instruction has gotten away from us.

That we can come gently back to the in-breath. And start over once more.

Cool air. Nostrils. Throat. Chest. Belly.

Gently sitting with this instruction. Gently being with this experience.

Cool air. Nostrils. Throat. Chest. Belly.

Gently returning to the breath when thoughts have taken over.

Gently returning to the present when our mind’s gone meandering.

Cool air. Nostrils. Throat. Chest. Belly.

Using the phrase “gently” if it helps maintain a connection. Helping us to have relaxed concentration; a relaxed mental alertness. Not gripping too tightly. But gently being here with this one tiny task on our to-do list.

Breathing in, breathing out.

Nostrils. Throat. Chest. Belly.

It’s now time to head into the silent part of the meditation; you can continue focusing just on the in-breath, or run with whatever practice presents itself in the first few silent moments.


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