This mindfulness practice acts as a bridge between formal meditation practice, (where we take time out to sit with thoughts, feelings and sensations in the body) and the heat of battle as it were – our moment to moment experience, where we don’t always have the time or opportunity to go off and sit formally, in some quiet corner, on the cushion.
At first sight the invitation appears deceptively simple, just three breaths…but actually it is a tremendously tricky practice to do well, precisely because it is so difficult to remember. It is about pausing in the midst of the hustle and bustle and gathering our attention around this thing that we do, that is always present and with us, our breathing.
As many times a day as you are able, pause with whatever you are doing, thinking or feeling and give the mind a short rest. Move the focus of your awareness to your breathing, give your undivided attention to three whole breaths allowing those inner voices to settle and be silent. Then expand your attention outwards, opening all your senses and just be aware – of colour, sound, touch and smell.
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Image courtesy of Ernest Vickne