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One Breath At A Time

Day 234

When things are tricky in your mind – maybe you're feeling stressed or anxious, and you can't focus or relax – we need to keep the practice very simple. Your sole responsibility is to notice just 1 breath – this present one. Chances are, there will be another breath immediately following this one (though at some point there won't be!), and then, once again, you observe it...and on and on it goes.


With respect to what you are responsible for right now, it simply doesn't matter what your monkey/thoughts (or mammal/emotions) are doing, or what they'll try next. The physical event is what's important, and its 'one at a time' quality. This breath that is actually happening. There is no other, ever. This present–focus reminds me of how mountain climbers describe high-altitude walking, which is a beautiful example of mindful walking:

  1. Press down firmly with your right foot and take a step up with your left one;

  2. Pause to take a deep breath while your left foot is resting lightly in the snow;

  3. Press down firmly with your left foot and take a step with your right one;

  4. Take a deep breath while your right foot is resting lightly in the snow;

  5. Repeat the process for as long as the terrain allows.


 

PRACTICE

Notice 1-Breath.

Do it again.

Do it again.

(Repeat until finished)

Recover smoothly from distractions.

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