Sharon Salzberg explains the ins and outs of a core technique—meditating on the breath.
This classic meditation practice is designed to deepen concentration by teaching us to focus on the in-breath and out-breath.
Sit comfortably on a cushion or a chair. Keep your back erect, but without straining or overarching. (If you can’t sit, lie on your back, on a yoga mat or folded blanket, with your arms at your sides.)
Close your eyes, if you’re comfortable with that. If not, gaze gently a few feet in front of you. Aim for a state of alert relaxation.
Deliberately take three or four deep breaths, feeling the air as it enters your nostrils, fills your chest and abdomen, and flows out again. Then let your breathing settle into its natural rhythm, without forcing or controlling it. Just feel the breath as it happens, without trying to change it or improve it. You’re breathing anyway. All you have to do is feel it. Continued