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Breathing Meditation: Simple Meditation Techniques

Breathing meditation is the simplest method to clear your mind. Although it may be a simple way, it's certainly not always easy to practice.

Breathing meditation is not always easy.

Breathing meditation is not always easy.

Breathing Meditation

Breathing meditation is one of the simplest methods used to clear the mind. Although it may be a simple method, it's certainly not always easy to practice. In fact, despite what many people purport, meditation is a difficult task.

Consider that meditation is a path to self-understanding and perhaps even enlightenment—if I can go that far. Do you expect it to be a comfortable journey, without any trials and difficulties along the way?

Even at times, when we think we are meditating—we're sitting down, eyes closed, and doing everything we think we should—but in reality, we may only going through the motions of it. For some, it may be their ego telling them they are meditating—how at peace and one with the universe they are, etc. That's not to say that one cannot achieve such a state as this, but it's something to be aware of with your thoughts.

There are even times when we are meditating, yet we don't even realize it, perhaps because we weren't doing anything special at the time. How can we be meditating without doing any special technique? Thoughts like these can be deceiving.

Despite my claim that meditation is a difficult task, if you wish to pursue it, go ahead and face all the challenges that come with it. It is the challenging tasks in life that often reap great rewards.

Breathing Meditation Techniques

There are multiple breathing meditation methods to use, but I won't go into the more complicated ways. Simply focusing on your breath is sufficient enough.

To begin your meditation session, find a quiet place where you won't be distracted. How you sit isn't too important, except you will want to avoid a position that is too comfortable. If you are too comfortable, such as sitting in a comfy recliner or lying down, you're very likely to fall asleep.

The next thing is to focus on your breath, following it in through the nose, feel it reach the depths of your lungs, and then follow it out as you exhale. It won't quiet your mind instantly; thoughts will continue to come. When they occur, or if you slip into daydreaming, simply bring your attention back to your breath.

A quick summary of using breathing meditation:

  • Choose a quiet location to sit, whether cross-legged or in a chair.
  • Lay your hands on your lap or at your sides.
  • Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. It doesn't matter if you breathe in through your nose or mouth nor how you choose to exhale.
  • When thoughts or distractions come, gently return your attention to your breath.
  • Meditate for as long as you can, don't worry about the length of your meditation sessions.

If you'd like to learn more about various meditation techniques, you can read my blog article here: Learn to Meditate the Hard Way.

Overcoming Obstacles

Even if it feels like a struggle at times or it doesn't feel very relaxing, don't worry! Continue to focus on your breath for as long as you can. It can take many attempts at meditating before you start to realize the effect it is having on you. Also, some days will be easier to meditate than others. If you're finding that it's a challenge—that's an excellent time for meditation! The more challenging it is, the more beneficial it can be, and the greater the rewards are.

As time goes on, it will become easier to get into meditative states, but it may take a lot of time before that happens. Try not to be discouraged, it's hard to see the tiny amounts of the progress we make each day, but it adds up over the days, months and years to come.

Opportunities to Meditate

There are many opportunities to meditate each day; are you sitting in a doctor's office, taking the train to work, or the passenger of a vehicle? All of these can be opportunities to center yourself and quiet your mind.

We can meditate in all aspects of life, whether we are watching TV, reading a book, or having a conversation. A big part of meditation is becoming more aware of not only yourself but of your surroundings as well. Even when eating food, there's also a 'meditative' way to do that as well.

Conclusion

Meditation starts with one step, and that's the desire to practice it. I won't lie and say that it will quickly become effortless, because that's not what it's about—meditation is a way of life. Over time, if you continue with it, you will soon come to realize that.

Have you tried breathing meditation before? If so, please share any tips or benefits you experienced, in the comment section below!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Comments

Joel Durant (author) from Canada on May 25, 2020:

@Dr C V Singh, thanks for the feedback! Writing on the benefits of meditation is on my to-do list.

manatita44 from london on May 25, 2020:

Joel,

Try to accept the 'waves' offering them to the Supreme. It is a part of the sojourn. In a sense, one of the keys to living, is Duty With Detachment. We do our very best, even while offering the results to Something Higher. You see, if you are in charge, then there will be two Creators.

Successful organizations have awesome leaders, usually with a couple of good implementers and everything else follows. Salaam!

C V Singh from India on May 25, 2020:

Nice account of all aspects of breathing meditation.However, listing of some of the benefits of breathing meditation could have made article more interesting.

Joel Durant (author) from Canada on May 25, 2020:

@Linda Chechar, glad you enjoyed the article!

Linda Chechar from Arizona on May 24, 2020:

I've enjoyed your article about beautiful meditations.

Joel Durant (author) from Canada on May 24, 2020:

@ericdierker ThanksI'm glad you found the article helpful!

Joel Durant (author) from Canada on May 24, 2020:

@manatita44 Thank you for sharing your insight! I like your comparison of meditation with the sea.

In deep meditations, I've found the calmness and stillness; it's always there, but it's so easy for one to become preoccupied with the "multitude of waves" as you describe and to become disconnected from the calmness that we all have access to—if we allow ourselves to become aware of it.

manatita44 from london on May 24, 2020:

You have done a decent job here. We mostly use it as a blanket term and in my 38 years of teaching, most admit to the difficulties of the mind in the beginning. In other words, they know that they are not meditating. But our posters and that of many other groups, would invite the aspirant or seeker to come to the class for meditation.

Initially we teach concentration/focus and there are many ways to do this. In meditation, the mind is calm, silent, vacant ... it is also expansive, like the sky. Meditation is like being at the bottom of the sea, where all is quiet, tranquil. On the surface, there may be a multitude of waves, but the sea is calm at the bottom, undisturbed.

But yes, we speak or use the word in general, to imply the commencement of, or the way to a practice which is inevitably much deeper. You ask for tips, so this is just a small share.

If, however, you are interested in the spiritual life, in knowing and loving God, then you can approach me, assuming of course that you are in need of 'tips' like you say. Much Love.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on May 24, 2020:

Well done. You make it nice and simple, thank you I needed some basics.