WHAT SUPPORTS THE DISCOVERY OF INNER PEACE?MINDFULNESS This is a common, easy practice that only asks a person to be conscious of their in-breath and their out-breath. Sometimes this technique is so simple and direct that people are amazed at its power to center and calm them. It only requires that we stop for a mere micro-second and breath with awareness. When we are rushing around in our demanding work-a-day world, we can actually take a moment to say to ourselves: "Breathing In, I know I am breathing in." "Breathing Out, I know I am breathing out." During that conscious breath, we are in the present moment which allows us the freedom to oxygenate our body deeply and open to a new awareness about what is happening around us. This means we can breath out stress, we can breath out anxiety, sadness, pain, anger, whatever is going on with us that is not serving us. And in the letting go, we create a new reality that is less stressful. We can have clarity about the next step. We can move forward in a postive way, just because we took time to breath in mindfully. Practice It for yourself: If you need some cues, use it as you sit at red lights in heavy traffic. Use it when you're pressed to the maximum and you don't know which end is up. Breath as you use your keys to get into your car, or your home or your office. You'll see it only takes your commitment to do it and you'll be rewarded with less stress. Exercise: When you have more than a moment to center yourself, try this "Joy of Meditation as Nourishment" which Thich Nhat Hanh shares: First prepare your physical body, by sitting in a relaxed position with your eyes closed. Say to yourself: "Breathing in, I know I am breathing in." (Breath In) "Breathing out, I know I am breathing out." (Breath Out) Then just say to yourself as you breath in "In" Then as you release and let out, say to yourself "Out" Repeat this part a few times before advancing to the next set of words. Next say silently to yourself: "Breathing in, my breath grows deep." "Breathing out, my breath goes slowly. "Deep" (in) Slowly (out) Repeat as many times as you need until you feel it is true for yourself,. "Breathing in, I feel calm" "Breathing out, I feel ease." "Calm" (in) "Ease" (out) Repeat until you feel this completely. "Breathing in, I smile" "Breathing out, I release." "Smile" (in) "Release" (out) Repeat "Dwelling in the present moment I breath in" "I know it is a wonderful moment" "present moment" (in) "wonderful moment" (out) Repeat until it's true for you, then relax and open your eyes. Feel the change. This is designed to bring body and mind back into oneness and at the same time help bring us back to the present moment, to connect us with the miracle of life now occurring. If you are a beginner in this technique to release stress, consider journaling to make note of any changes you discern after doing this mindfulness practice. Over time, you will experience many beneficial changes.
RESOURCES: 1. Tibetan Monk, Thich Nhat Hanh offers books such as "The Miracle of Mindfulness" @ Parallax Press, P.O. Box 7355 Berkeley, CA 94707 #510-525-0101, www.parallax.org Free catalog of audio and video tapes and sacred music from around the world: Sounds True, P.O. Box 8010, Boulder, CO 80306-8010 #800-333-9185 www.soundstrue.com 2. "Beginning Mindfulness" Learning the Way of Awareness by Andrew Weiss 3. There are non-sectarian Mindfulness Practice Centers all over the world. In Atlanta we have one sponsored by Al Lingo firstname.lastname@example.org #404-288-5373