Introduction to the Blue State of Stillness

5. Observe your natural breath

Option 1: Shorter Silences

Option 2: Longer Silences

Welcome back.

Having established nose-based breathing and broadened its experience, this practice trains you in maintaining your focus on breath throughout the practice.

Following your breath naturally encourages it to settle, which in turn facilitates rest during stillness. Additionally, focusing on your breath helps to calm your mind, a topic you will explore in the next practice.

Concentrating on breath

The ability to concentrate on a single object, sound, or other experience is integral to many meditative practices, and in 51BLUE Neurotraining, breath focus is encouraged.

Attention to breath not only facilitates physical slowing down and rest, it also supports the calming of your mind, and directs your attention inward for exploring other inner experiences.

Natural breathing

The ability to sense the flow of air moving in and out of your nose, and the breathing movements across your stomach and chest, is a concentration skill. You don’t need to change the way you breathe; simply pay attention to it.

As you concentrate on your breath, you might feel the urge to control it. Encourage yourself to let go and observe your body’s natural breathing.

If the urge to control your breath persists, take a deep breath, and then let your body resume its natural breathing.

Distractions

Establishing a steady, uninvolved, and undistracted awareness of your natural breath takes time and practice. If you find yourself getting sidetracked, gently, and patiently bring your attention back to your breathing.

Following thoughts instead of following your breath is a common distraction. This will be explored further in the next practice.

PROGRESS CHECKLIST

  • Can I follow the natural flow of my breath?
  • Can I trace the whole cycle of my inhale and exhale?
  • Can I bring my attention back to my breath if I get distracted?
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