Mindfulness and the Breath

breathing vipassana mindfulness

I am studying a book by Thich Nhat Han about Mindfulness and its called the Miracle of Mindfulness and was published in 1975.

Thich Nhat Han is a Vietnamese monk who is described as follows in his website : Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, revered around the world for his pioneering teachings on mindfulness, global ethics and peace.

A few pages into the book, I came across references to breath control and how controlling and regulating your breathing can lead to wonderful effects on your body, mind, attitude, feelings, outlook towards your life.

It is so stunning to me that the great spiritual masters of the world like Thich Nhat Han, Eckhart Tolle, Aurobindo, Jaggi Vasudev, G D Goenka, and ancient Indian teachers like Krishna would all say the same thing, and yet, it is not something that is strictly imposed or followed throughout the world.

I talked about breath control in an earlier blog-post and this is something I am committed to following through for a year to begin with.

Here is the regimen that I am following.

  • sit in a quiet spot, preferably early in the morning before the kids wake up
  • say a few shlokas to get myself in the mood
  • pray to Vayu / Hanuman to bless me while I attempt to control my breath
  • breathe in while observing the air flow in through my nostrils
  • breath out while observing the air flow out of my nostrils. This is how Goenka teaches observation of the breath in his Vipassana courses.
  • continue this for 10 minutes (more if I have the stamina).

When my mind is very calm, I focus on nothing and just continue this state of quietness.

My only questions on this technique are

  • what do I gain by focussing on nothing? Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita is very clear in saying that he loves his devotees the most. Should I use this state of quietness to try and find him in my heart?
  • should I try PraNayaama next i.e., breath control and different types of exercises?

If you have any experiences with Vipassana / PraNayaama, then please do mention them in the comments section below. I would love to learn from your experiences. How did it alter your life, mental state, outlook?

Until next time, stay loved and blessed!

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