Throughout the day—when you feel worried or stressed—try returning to your essential nature by practicing the simple exercise below.
1. Sit comfortably on your chair or cushion with back straight and eyes open or closed.
2. Relax and become aware of your breathing.
3. Focus on the rise and fall of your belly or the in and out of the breath through the nose.
4. Do not control the breath; just keep it in the foreground of your attention.
5. When thoughts arise, simply let them go by and return to focusing on your breathing.
6. As soon as you realize that you are lost in thought, let the thought go and return to your breathing.
7. The thoughts that arise in meditation are like the waves that rise from the ocean. It is the ocean’s nature to rise. It is the mind’s nature to think. We cannot stop it, but we can just let our thoughts be and return to the present moment by returning to our breath.
8. Continue for five minutes.
We always have a choice. In choosing to take a moment to pause, we learn to live life from our true center.
Or, in the words of Jon Kabat-Zinn, “Each time you … turn your attention to your breathing, for however long, you are returning to your own wholeness.”