4.2 – Guided Meditation – Labeling the Breath

Hello and welcome to the guided meditation practice for day four. In this video we’ll be learning how to improve our concentration with the labeling technique.

So, go ahead and find your comfortable position. Take a few moments to settle in and then gently allow your eyes to close whenever you're ready.

And as usual we can start just by taking a few deep breaths to relax the body and relax the mind.

So, breathing in deeply and breathing out slowly.
Taking one more deep breath, breathing in and breathing out.

Just allowing your breath to return to its natural rhythm.

Letting the body breathe itself and then spending a few moments again just inviting the body to soften and to relax.

Letting go of any to do lists. Letting go of any agenda.
Just giving yourself permission to be here.

And when you are ready you can bring your attention onto the feeling of the breath once again. Practicing the mindful breathing techniques that we've learned so far.

So, connecting with wherever you feel the breath the most and just noticing the movement of the breath.

Noticing how it changes over time.
So, here you can start to practice the labeling technique.

Just saying the short phrase to help us stay focused on the breath.

So, as you breathe in just quietly in your mind saying the word “rising” and then actually feeling the rising of the belly or the chest or the in breath at the nostrils.

And then as you breathe out just quietly in your mind saying “falling” and feeling the falling of the belly or the chest or the out breath of the nostrils.

Breathing in, “rising”
breathing out, “falling”

Again, whenever your attention wanders away from the breath and whenever you notice, just acknowledge that the attention has wandered and gently bring your attention back to the breath.

Without any judgment or self-criticism just practicing acceptance.

And then once again reconnecting with the breath and the phrases breathing in “rising” and breathing out, “falling”.

And as you repeat those words, really see if you can keep most of your awareness on the physical sensations of the breath.

Just letting the words be very quiet and soft voice in the back of your mind, just something to keep pointing your attention to the breath.

Breathing in noting rising. Breathing out noting falling.

With the noting practice we’re just giving the monkey mind something to do, something to keep it busy.

And then we just keep bringing our attention back to the present moment.
Just observing what you're experiencing.

And just notice where is your attention right now.
Is it with a thought, a pain in the body, a judgment?
Wherever your attention is just notice, acknowledge it.

Allowing it to be there, but then inviting your attention back to the feeling of the breath and the body.

Just feeling the rise and fall of the belly or the chest.
Using the words, the phrases, to help you stay connected.

Really don't worry too much about what is distracting you.
Whether it's a sound in their environment.

Or a thought and an emotion. Pain in the body.

Whatever is distracting you just acknowledge it and let it go. Inviting the attention back to the breath.

Breathing in, “rising”. Breathing out, “falling”.

And to end this meditation today we can take a deep breath in together.

Breathing in deeply, and breathing out slowly.
In your own time allowing your eyes to open.
Just take a moment to notice how you feel.

Maybe connecting with your breath just for a moment once again.

So, great work today on learning how to use the phrases, the labeling of the breath, to gain just a little more concentration.

Of course the mind will still wander.

It will keep wandering but this will help us keep coming back to the breath.

So, tomorrow we'll be working with a new technique on learning how to cultivate a body awareness with the body scan meditation.

Now enjoy the rest of the day and I'll see you tomorrow.

Listen to the guided meditation and follow along.

Focused Attention, Intermediate

Focused Attention and Open Awareness

  • I am finding this course very helpful during this intense time. Today when I woke up I noticed some vertigo. Is it alright to meditate when one feels under the weather?

  • Thank you for the course. Here’s where my mind tends to wander: the short space in between the out-breath — and the in-breath, where there’s just rest. I think i’ll try labeling “resting” maybe? I want there to be mindfulness but not grasp/anticipate for the in-breath but i’m not sure how to just let it be without the monkey mind. Any suggestions?

  • Jeremy, words cannot express my gratitude. As an adult with severe ADHD, as well as a first grade teacher, mindfulness is a topic that often pops up in my quest for coping strategies to use with myself and my students. Implementing it for myself has always been a failure. Apps, books and other sites never made it stick for me. The practicality always seemed lost on me, with my brain always running 1000 mph. But this format, along with your care and effort in putting all this together, is different. It’s easy, logical, and I can really get behind your passion for sharing this with others. It’s nearly turned into a commitment for me. You’ve shown up for us, I better show up for you and your effort. I know it’s only been four completed days now, but I feel wonderful already and I’m truly motivated to continue. And imagine, coming from someone who’s regularly failed to build lasting, concious routines my entire life, going into 5 straight days, this is huge. THANK YOU!!!

  • Thank you so very much for offering this course. I have been practicing mindfulness for just over 10 years now. I find it incredibly useful to come back to basics periodically and to be influenced by teachers far more experienced than myself. I really enjoy and appreciate your gentle teaching style and find the structure of this training the best I have encountered. Thank you again for such a wonderful gift.

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