This is a very simple meditation technique, yet it is also one of the most difficult. All others will build upon it. At the beginning, start with either 5 or 10-minute meditation sessions. For best results, perform this exercise daily. As you become more proficient with the simple breath meditation you should try extending your meditation sessions gradually to 20-30 minutes.
This is the fundamental meditation upon which all other exercises on this site will be built. In this exercise, all you have to do is keep your mind clear and regulate your breathing pattern to follow a set rhythm. This meditation is also known as the ‘four-fold breath’.
-Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
-Assume a comfortable meditation position, one that will not encourage you to fall asleep.
-Make sure you are not likely to be disturbed for the duration of your meditation.
- Inhale slowly for 4 seconds
- Hold your breath for 4 seconds
- Exhale slowly for 4 seconds
- Hold your lungs empty for 4 seconds
Keep your mind clear and focus gently on your breathing. Don't be too hard on yourself if you are disturbed or distracted during your meditation session. It is normal to be distracted and to have a wandering mind at first. Getting upset with yourself will only serve to make this a more stressful practice, which is completely contradictory to the goal.
Should you have difficulties, do not be too hard on yourself. The simple truth is that this exercise may take a bit of time and effort before you get a good handle on it.
When something disturbs your meditation , simply acknowledge the distraction and focus your mind back on your breathing. What can make meditation so difficult is the rebellious nature of the subconscious mind.
Distractions will likely occur when you first start, but they will surely subside after enough practice.
Here are some good examples:
Your nose suddenly get itchy?
- Need to use the bathroom?
- Get a bad cramp just as you were really starting to relax into it?
- How about a hunger pang?
- Or a headache?
The list goes on, as far as your imagination can reach.
A good way to help increase the success of your meditation sessions is to keep a detailed record. Keeping track of various conditions, such as the weather, time of day, clothing worn and the type of incense burned, can help you discover what works best for you. Some people find that they have more trouble meditating during storms, while others have more trouble during the day. There are people who have more success during the full moon. Meditation is a very personal matter.
Remember that the important thing is finding something that works for you, which might mean knowing what does not work. With time and patience you will find your own rhythm.
While the Simple Breath Meditation Technique is fairly simple in theory, in practice it is an extremely powerful meditation that can form the base for any meditation or personal development routine.
To help you keep track of your meditations we have created a downloadble PDF: Downloadable Meditation Journal PDF