One of the most common ways to assist your meditation practice is to stay focused on your breath. When we are focused on breath, the mind is directed to visualize the flow of energy in and out of the body.
Other ways to help you stay in your meditative state might be to repeat a mantra, or embrace the smell of incense or essence oils, or observe the flicker of a candle. When we meditate in this way, we are focusing our awareness on the sensations of a particular experience. In doing so, there becomes a clear connection with life that flows. This, ironically gives us both a point of focus (and a place to return to when our minds wander), and also an understanding of the ever-unfolding process that we call "the present".
When we don't have something specific to focus on, our minds will typically attempt to fill the void and introduce thoughts into our experience. This is where the breath comes into play.
Given the fact that our minds will tend to wander, the breath can be used as an anchor in the present moment. The breath is always there and is always changing.
When we notice that we are lost in thought, at that moment we are free to redirect our awareness back to a broader sense of the present, simply by reconnecting with the breath.
When we reconnect with the breath, we bring energy into our mind and into our body. The more we exist in our body, the more we are able to experience the fullness of life.
Another benefit of connecting with the breath is that it provides a physical release of energy out of our bodies. Exhalation is the most common way we let go of energy, both emotional and physical. The breath reminds us of the freedom that letting go provides, returning us to a more natural state of being.
When we meditate the breath can serve as an anchor, reconnecting us to the flow of life. Once we have reestablished the connection of the flow of breath, we are then welcome to let go and settle back in to noticing the flow of all sensations.
Regardless of the style of meditation you are engaged in, the breath can greatly aid your practice and enhance your experience.
Reference: excerpts from About Meditation, 2017 , Your Breath is a Powerful Ally, David Eyerman
Barb is married and lives in London, Ontario. She has two wonderful step-daughters and two amazing step-grand daughters. Barb enjoys travelling and seeks out UNESCO World Heritage destinations around the globe. The history, culture & people she encounters along the way inspires her optimistic attitude and outlook on life.