Mindfulness of BreathingMargaret Austin Center Bell

  1.  Settle into your sitting position.
  2.  Close your eyes, either partially or completely.
  3.  Soften the muscles in your face and around your eyes, your shoulders, arms and hands, your legs.
  4.  Sit with an erect but relaxed posture.
  5.  Take several deep breaths to help you be aware of the sensation of breathing. Then allow your breath to flow in its normal, ever changing manner.
  6.  Choose to pay attention to your breath either at the tip/rims of your nostrils or in your chest or abdomen, wherever the sensations are the clearest. Once you make a choice, stick with it    throughout your meditation.
  7.  Continue to keep your awareness focused on the sensations of the breath flowing in and flowing out. If watching the breath at the tip of your nose, notice the sensations in this area of   your body as you inhale and as you exhale. If watching the breath at your chest or abdomen, notice the rising and falling or in and out movements.
  8. Sometimes it is helpful to silently count the breaths, as a way of settling the mind. Counting one on the in-breath, two on the out-breath up to five. Then back down to one. Continuing in this way until you are able to reach ten.
  9. When your attention wanders away from the breath and you notice it, appreciate that moment of noticing, of waking up and being mindful. Then gently return your attention to the breath and continue to follow it.
  10. And, as your concentration develops more deeply, you may follow the sensations from the beginning of the in-breath through the middle to the end and then you follow the sensations of the out-breath in the same way.
  11.  Continue to follow the sensations of breathing until your meditation period is over.