Thought Bricks 07: Follow Up

The breathing exercises you received in Lesson 7 are very helpful. How we breath is how we live. If our breathe is shallow, so will our life be also. Some of us hold back our breathe every so slightly as a matter of habit and do not realise we are doing it. Holding our breathe is a way of trying to hold life at bay and keeping away feelings which we do not want.  It is understandable that we do not want to have uncomfortable feelings, but it is better to learn to handle such feelings than try to avoid them.

Often we have uncomfortable feelings about a situation, only because of what we are telling ourselves about it. It may be an old mental association from the past, having nothing to do with the present. A friend may make a comment which reminds us of a painful event, but our friend is not intending to hurt us. We meet someone who reminds us of someone who hurt us in the past and we start to feel uncomfortable, even thought that particular person is completely innocent and only intends good towards us. We see something in the news which triggers anger or fear, but there is nothing we can do about that event.

At such times breathing exercises can help us release the build-up of uncomfortable feelings and to release the thinking which sustains them. Breathing helps get us back on track and grounded in the present moment so we are more able to handle life as it happens.

As Bernard suggests…

Take a slow, deep breath, and as you draw it in, say within yourself:
‘The Breath of the Almighty is giving me Courage.’
Pause a second, then let the breath out, pause a second again, and repeat.
Do this seven times.

Other phrases work well too:

‘The Breath of the Almighty is giving me Peace.’
‘The Breath of the All Life is giving me Happiness.’
‘The Breath of Spirit is giving me Confidence.’

Seeing and Breathing Exercise
Another version of the Seeing and Breathing Exercise is to find a nice scene to look at – even if it is a picture.

Take a slow, deep breath, pause: then say within yourself as you breathe out:
‘May all stress and worry depart from me now’. Think of any disharmony or obstruction within you flowing out with your breath. Pause again.
Then, slowly breathing in say: ‘May peace, harmony and loving-kindness come to me now.’ Visualise these qualities flowing into you with your breath.
Do this seven times.

Of course we do only use these exercises when life is challenging. We can use them during the good times too, to augment an already happy feeling into an even better one.

Heart Breath

This one is a little bit different as we start with the in-breath.

Take a slow, deep breath in, and imagine you are filling the centre of you chest with warm feelings.
‘May loving-kindness come to me now’.
Pause: then send those warm feelings down to your waist or stomach area, and from there out into the space around you.
‘May loving-kindness fill my life’.
Do this seven times.

It is good to experiment and find out which phrases and which exercise helps you the most at this time. These exercises are quick and easy and can make a very big difference to the quality of your life.


William M.