A Breathing Anchor for Your Wandering Mind
A breathing anchor for your wandering mind. A practice where you root your awareness into the present moment, like an anchor that roots a ship to one place.
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This mindfulness practice
is your “breathing anchor” practice
where you root your awareness
into the present moment,
like an anchor that roots a ship
to one place.
This will help you to
and allow the body to heal
in a relaxed, peaceful state.
So to begin,
adopt as comfortable a position as possible.
It’s often best to be sitting,
but you can do it in any posture,
or even walking.
My guidance will assume you’re sitting,
but adapt the instructions
to whatever posture you’ve chosen.
Sitting with your back upright,
with your spine following its natural curves.
See if you can you can establish a position
that feels dignified,
and yet relaxed,
and allow your body to settle,
to rest down
letting it be supported
by the floor beneath you
and gently close your eyes,
if that’s comfortable.
This will help your awareness settle
by lessening external distractions.
Gradually allow your awareness
to gather around the sensations of the breath
in your body.
Where do you feel the breath most strongly?
Be curious about your actual experience,
letting go of what you think should be
and being with your experience
Now very gently
rest your awareness within
the whole torso.
Can you feel your belly swelling on the in
and subsiding on the outbreath?
Can you feel any movement and sensations
with the breath
in the sides
and the back of the body,
Gradually inhabit your body
a little more deeply
with a sense of kindly curiosity
towards whatever you’re
experiencing as you breathe.
Remember to be accepting
of whatever’s happening.
See if you can cultivate a precise awareness
of the sensations and movement of the breath
in the body
as they happen,
moment by moment,
being careful not to strain.
Allow your awareness to be
as it rests upon the natural movement of the
in the body.
Allow the breath to be saturated with
as it rocks
and cradles the body,
soothing any stress,
or discomfort you may feel.
Now become aware of any thoughts and
Remember that mindfulness isn’t about
having a blank mind.
It’s normal to think.
is the training
whereby you cultivate
of what is actually happening
So you can gradually change your perspective
and feel you have more choice
in how you relate to life.
Can you look at your thoughts and emotions
rather than from them?
Can you be aware of what you’re thinking
without either blocking experience
or getting overwhelmed by it?
thoughts are not facts,
even though we often think that they are.
As you develop perspective on your thoughts
including undermining ones,
can you let go
of being so caught up in them?
Notice how they’re continually changing
one moment to the next, exactly the same
way your breath is always changing.
Your thoughts and emotions are not as fixed
as solid as you perhaps thought.
Using awareness of the movement and
sensations of the breath in your body as an
anchor for the mind over,
and over again.
Follow the breath all the way in,
and all the way out.
Each time your awareness wanders,
as it will,
simply note this
and return to the breathing anchor time
moment by moment.
Making sure you’re very kind and patient with yourself,
even if you have to start again
a hundred times.
This is what the training is all about.
And remember that each time you
notice you’ve wandered
is a magic moment of awareness,
a moment where you’ve woken up
from a distraction,
a moment of choice.
So when you catch yourself having wandered off,
you’re succeeding in the practice
just as you’re succeeding when you manage
to stay with the breath.
What’s happening now?
What are you thinking?
Just note this
and guide your awareness
back to the sensation of the breath in the
And now gently begin to bring the “breathing
anchor” practice to a close,
opening your eyes.
And be aware of the sounds around you,
and outside the room.
Feel your whole body
begin to move
making sure you give yourself time
to make a smooth transition from the
“breathing anchor” practice
to whatever you’re doing next.