Taking the best medicine mindfully

In the blog category “Mindfulness Meditation techniques”, I will list various techniques that will help practitioners of this form of meditation. Over a period of years, I have compiled a variety of such techniques and formed a virtual toolkit from which I draw upon on a regular basis.

Hippocrates, the Greek physician often referred to as the “Father of Western Medicine” once stated that “Walking is the best medicine”. I am going to present a beautiful technique that utilizes “short breaths” to practice mindfulness of breath meditation while walking.

Within our normal breathing cycle, a “long breath” is the relatively long space between an exhalation and the next inhalation. On the other hand, a “short breath” is the relatively short space between an inhalation and subsequent exhalation. Long breaths, and by extension, exhalations, promote relaxation of the body. Short breaths, and by extension, inhalations, energize the body. This meditation technique involves counting breaths and placing the counts on short breaths while walking. It is very important to note that the breath should not be manipulated in any way. You should work with the breath as it comes in and goes out on its own.

There is a twist in the way breaths are counted. Instead of counting the breaths in a neat sequence, they need to be counted in a pattern as displayed below.

1          2          3          4          5

1          2          3          4          5          6

1          2          3          4          5          6          7

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8

1          2          3          4          5          6          7

1          2          3          4          5          6

1          2          3          4          5

The pattern starts from top to bottom and from left to right. Depending on your pace of walk and pace of your breath, you may spend anywhere between 2 to 5 minutes to complete one round of counting, i.e. from 1 .. 5 to 1 .. 10 and back to 1 .. 5. The more relaxed you are, the more difficult it might become due to the increased time lag between each breath. At the same time, it is important to stay as relaxed as possible and let the breath come in and go out on its own.

It is also important to do the count at each short breath in the pattern displayed above. If you miss a count during a short breath, then start all over again. Also, you should count only once and move down the pattern during each short breath.

This meditation technique involves both mindfulness and concentration in an even and delicate balance. If you are good at this exercise, then try doing two rounds one after the other. In other words, do one round from 1 .. 5 to 1 .. 10, back to 1 .. 5; and then repeat this cycle all over again.

Finally, please perform this technique in a safe area where you will not be disturbed while walking nor will you disturb others.

Good luck and have fun!!!

If you would like to share your experience, ask questions or provide helpful suggestions on this or any other blog post, then please fill out the contact form below. In a blog category entitled “Website content feedback” I will publish my answers to your questions as well as your suggestions wherever appropriate. I will be also delighted to publish your experience, if you would like me to do so. Thank you!!!

 

 

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