The traditional Buddhist meditation technique is Mindful Breathing Practice. The goal is to attain a state of deep peace in the present moment, characterized by total immersion of the mind in its object and progressive elimination of thoughts and emotions. The benefit of learning Mindful Breathing Practice is being able to use it to cope with stress and improve relationships in our everyday lives.
Preparation and posture
The meditator selects a a quiet place and sits in any comfortable position that can be sustained for 10 – 20 minutes. What’s key is to keep a straight back throughout Mindful Breathing Practice, as it prevents the mind becoming sluggish or sleepy.
Attention and focus
In Mindful Breathing Practice the attention is focused on the nostrils, as it is there that the entry and exit of breath can be observed. The mediator will observe and follow the natural course of his or her breathing process. No attempt to stop the breath, or to deliberately alter the timing or rhythm will be made.
At first, our mind will be very busy, and we might even feel that the meditation is making our mind busier; but in reality we are just becoming more aware of how busy our mind actually is. There will be a great temptation to follow the different thoughts as they arise, but we should resist this and remain focused single-pointedly on the sensation of the breath. If we discover that our mind has wandered and is following our thoughts, we should immediately return it to the breath. We should repeat this as many times as necessary until the mind settles on the breath. — Breathing Meditations
Settling into the stillness
When the distracting thoughts subside and the meditator’s mind becomes still, a deep sense of quiet joy and peace arises from within.
Breathing in, I know I am breathing in.
Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.
Breathing in, I see myself as a flower.
Breathing out, I feel fresh.
Breathing in, I see myself as a mountain
Breathing out, I feel solid.
Breathing in, I feel myself as still water.
Breathing out, I reflect things as they are.
Breathing in, I see myself as space.
Breathing out, I feel free.
Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in.
Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.
As my in-breath grows deep,
My out breath grows slow.
Breathing in makes me calm.
Breathing out brings me ease.
With the in-breath, I smile,
With the out-breath I release.
Dwelling in the present moment,
I know this is a wonderful moment.
Feelings come and go, like clouds in a windy sky
From: Mindful Breathing Gathas
As Mindful Breathing Practice leads to a calm, recollected state of mind in which there is also vitality and clarity, the benefit is being able to use it to cope with stress arising in every day life, and to improve relationships through conscious living.