If at times today you find yourself getting anxious or stressed, you may like to try this simple practice of dropping into your breathing. We use the breath as an anchor to steady us at moments of confusion or distress. The breath is always with us. We do not need any special skills or practices to simply notice it. We do not need to go anywhere, other than where we are at that moment:
Our breathing is a stable solid ground that we can take refuge in. Regardless of our internal weather- our thoughts, emotions and perceptions- our breathing is always with us like a faithful friend. Whenever we feel carried away, or sunken in a deep emotion, or scattered in worries and projects, we return to our breathing to collect and anchor our mind.
We feel the flow of air coming in and going out of our nose. We feel how light and natural, how calm and peaceful our breathing functions. At any time, we can return to this peaceful source of life.
We may like to recite: “Breathing in I know that I am breathing in.
Breathing out I know that I am breathing out.”
We do not need to control our breath. Feel the breath as it actually is. It may be long or short, deep or shallow. Conscious breathing is the key to uniting body and mind and bringing the energy of mindfulness into everyday life.
Thich Nhat Hahn