Meditation Exercises – The Mindful Breath
The starting point for inner change, the place where peace in the world must begin, is within our own heart. Our own state of being then begins to change the atmosphere in the world around us. Creating peace in the midst of chaos.
Breathing is the simplest and most often overlooked exercise we can use in recovery. Simple breathing exercises send a feedback loop reminding our bodies and minds that we are okay, and bring us to the present moment. Majority of struggles people experience in early recovery, can be remedied by conscious and intentional breathing practices. Here are just a few:
Counting Down is an easy to remember and effective breathing exercise.
Get comfortable and begin breathing full, normal breaths, in and out.
Take a breath in. Then on the exhale, start counting down from 50.
Count down on each inhale and exhale until you reach 20. (Exhale… 50…inhale… 49… exhale… 48… inhale… 47…)
After you reach 20, only count on the exhales. (Exhale… 20… inhale…exhale… 19… inhale… exhale… 18…) Count down to 0 and then just breathe and relax.
Centering Prayer or Meditation
This is a way to rest and still our souls so we can connect to the divinity within each of us.
- Choose a sacred word, such as Love, Peace, Stillness, Hope etc…
- Sit comfortably with your eyes closed and relax. Quiet your thoughts and ask Divine Light and Love to enter in.
- Let your sacred word be present as a symbol of your intention to be in the presence of Love.
- Focus on your word, but try to keep it unspoken. (When you feel your mind drifting, return to your sacred word as an anchor.)
During your Meditation focus your thoughts
- Resist no thought
- Retain no thought
- React emotionally to no thought.
- Return ever so gently to the sacred word.
As you end your meditation time, linger in the silence with eyes closed for another minute or two.
Written by Jenny Mitchell, Reiki Master with Brighton Recovery Center