The Breath of Life
Most humans have to deal with a host of difficulties frequently while trying to get on with their lives. All are in need of simple techniques that can empower one to deal with stress and difficulties in whatever one has to do, most effectively and joyously. Here is an ancient technique from ancient Buddhist sources - interpreted with further information and personal experience. The technique is mindful breathing. It is free of any philosophical baggage and very easy to practice. It is available from many sources today with slight variations.
Just observe your breathing, the inward breath brings with it life and energy that is carried to every cell of your body, energizing and cleaning every cell. The same blood that carries this breath to every corner of the body from head to toe is like a good friend of the cells. - A friend that comes in with a gift and leaves with the waste to be released into the atmosphere for recycling.
Keep your attention on the breathing process. Observe it. Watch the outward breath as it carries away the waste from your body. While observing the breathing process try not to think of anything at all, just observe, but if you must think of something, think of the empowering role of this inward and outward life force. After exhalation, stop for just a moment so that the stale air goes away and is replaced by fresh air for the next inhalation and so that you can identify distinctly the inward and outward portions of the cycle. Observe the movements of your body as you breathe. If your thoughts tend to wander away as they will, gently bring them back. Your breathing will soon become deeper, slower and more even, increasing the beneficial affect. Do ensure that the entire process is gentle and natural. Exert no special strain to control breathing and stops (inhale-stop-exhale-stop-inhale - - - -)
You may do this Mindful Breathing exercise at any time of the day, as often as you wish. It is best done when you are not doing anything else and the body is still, sitting or lying down in bed. It will change your idle moments with empowering ones and fill your heart with joy.
If you accept the inward breath in an attitude of gratitude to nature and the universe that provides this air, the benefits will be greater. Nature too will accept your waste outward breath with thankfulness carrying it to the fields, forest and oceans as gifts for other parts of nature, where it becomes in combination with light, the life force of the green side of life, so that the fields, bushes and trees are lush green and gentle bees and butterflies can play among the flowers and birds sing on tree branches. You shall then hear the music of the spheres that reverberates through the universe of which we all are an integral part, the music inherent in your soul. The physical body becomes light as a feather, ready to fly with the wind if one so desires. That very air we breathe out is recycled over and over again for all eternity.
Our perishable physical part can survive without food for a few weeks, without water for a few days and without air for a few minutes. Mindful consumption of food empowers. Mindful drinking of water empowers more and ‘Mindful Breathing’ empowers the most. Mindful Breathing may be regarded as a form of what has been described as Pranayama in ancient Sanskrit literature. However the latter word has also been used to describe many modern versions not in conformity with the original. While Mindful Breathing and its advantages are described here, it is only a step towards more advanced spiritual pursuits.