Anxious, sleepless, stressed...How can I help myself?
Gentle Breath Meditation
“If there was one tool you would recommend I start with to address the anxiousness or overwhelm, stress or exhaustion, sleeplessness or self-doubt I feel, what would it be?”
I’m regularly asked this question, to which I reply: Gentle Breath Meditation.
Prior to my own introduction to it, I had practiced different forms of meditation over a period of more than 20 years. I had sat facing the wall, chanted, guided on journeys to ‘magical’ places, emptied my abdomen of air, controlled my breath and sat in silence for hours, sometimes weeks at a time. I gained at times a peace of mind or feeling of bliss, but time and again both states revealed themselves as empty. For as long as I practiced, I felt an elevation to an altered state of bliss or relieved by a state of peace that kept the racy and judging thoughts at bay. But the moment I stood, or occasionally a few hours after rising from the special seated position, the intensity of the world just came flooding back in and the chatter of my mind raced away once more.
I was suspended in a holding pattern: as long as I practiced the meditation techniques I achieved a state of being that distracted me from feeling the intensity of what was around me and what I had let in me, but if ever I stopped the practice, everything I wanted the meditation to assist me to deal with was right back there, in my face, unresolved. The worst of it was, behind the blissful state and under the peace of mind were the issues I had assumed the meditation practice was dealing with, but only now magnified as a result of my efforts to bury them deeper.
What distinguishes the Gentle Breath Meditation is its focus on quality, a quality every single one of us, without exception has within. This is the primary and most basic quality of our essence. If ever you doubted there was anything more to you than your physical body, the anger, sadness, jealousy, judgement, pain or stress you feel, then practice the Gentle Breath Meditation and you’ll tangibly feel there is so much more to you. And that more is the grandness of what is there, unsullied by the intruding onslaught that makes us seek the respite in the first place. Suddenly, a cascade of pennies begins to drop; if, what is basic and primary is free of the strain and tension, what then lays deeper than the essential reception?
The answer is to simply connect to what is already there.
Correspondingly, meditation is simply about connection. It does not give you anything you are not already. Why depart from what is already complete and uncontaminated by what is not truly supportive? Therefore, if there is a method or exercise that takes you any place other than into your own untainted resolve, then it is promoting distraction and relief. Okay, so you may feel momentarily better, even blissful, but it comes at a price, one that arises when you separate from you - your quality, who you truly are.
Re-connection with this quality is the starting point that Gentle Breath Meditation brings you back to, not an end but literally just the very beginning. It assists you to re-connect with you, with your quality, and from there life can be lived from a true and steady foundation. It simply begins with you, breathing your own breath.
Meditation in truth, is about connection, not escaping the world or isolating yourself, so there is no need to practise for hours on end. You need only practice 5-10mins at a time. Practice at home or at work, on the move as you commute or in a quiet place. This meditation is about supporting you to know who you are by way of re-connecting to a tangible experience of your inner quality. You’ll also find that your mind and your body begin to move more in synch, an alignment called conscious presence.
You’ll arise from the Gentle Breath Meditation in awareness of your quality. To begin with this will be a conscious and tangible experience of gentleness, a step in the direction of the tenderness you truly are. After repeatedly walking into your day with awareness of this quality, you will in time find that your seated meditation will evolve into a meditation that infuses your every movement. Hence, meditation must adapt to you as you evolve, not hold you in the repetitiveness of the same practice, circulating and cementing the same state of being.
Universal Medicine’s Gentle Breath Meditation is a simple technique practiced by all ages, from school children to seniors. There is a range of Gentle Breath Meditations to explore through free audio downloads from the UniMed Livingwebsite.
If you are interested in attending a Gentle Breath Mediation group practice, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org