On the fifth day...

by Christina

...we are going to take a moment to slow things down. It seems there is a lot of talk these days about mindfulness and meditation. Not that meditation is new by any means but it's becoming a topic that is garnering a lot more attention. I am by no means an expert on this topic but I know a few tiny things that might be helpful on our path of peace. 

Some people may shy away from the topic of meditation because it's too "new-age" or "how can that possibly be of any benefit" or "I've tried and I'm no good." But I'm not proposing we become zenful and master the art of meditation. Nope we're just going to work on one small part. Breathing.

What I have to say about meditation boils down to this: it never hurts. It always helps. It costs nothing, and it improves everything. There are so few things on earth of which this can be said. ...yet many are still intimidated by sitting still and focusing on the moment. Not because they don’t want to, but because they are convinced they’re bad at it.
— Rebecca Pacheco from "Do Your OM Thing"

Without breath our life on earth ends within a matter of minutes. It's so vital to life that it's an involuntary action. We breathe in and out 100's of times each day without ever stopping to think about this life-sustaining function. So today we are going to turn our attention to our breath, to recharge our bodies and our minds and focus on the moment at hand.

Peace tip #5.
First, read through these directions. Otherwise you'll be closing your eyes before you read the rest of the directions.

  • Find a quiet place where you won’t be distracted.
  • Locate a chair like a dining room or kitchen chair; it should be firm.
  • Sit down, feet placed on the floor, hands in your lap.
  • Now close your eyes and start to relax.
  • Breathe in through your nose slowly and count in your head 1-2-3-4, now pause holding it for just a second and then slowly release to the count of 5 (1-2-3-4-5) and then briefly pause before repeating the cycle.
  • Repeat this 10 times or more.
  • Start to notice how your body relaxes and feels more complete. Focus on the breath and let any thoughts that enter your mind go with each exhale.

Feel free to use this technique anytime during the day to bring you peace and tranquility. You can change the counting rhythm (such as 5 counts in and 6 counts out). Once you have this mastered you can use letters to words instead of the numbers.  Try L-O-V-E for the inhale and P-E-A-C-E for the exhale.

Before you began this activity did you encounter any feelings of resistance?

How did you feel after taking a few moments to slow down your breathing and focus?

How might you incorporate this technique to infuse more peace into your day?

A peaceful mountain stream in Gallatin National Forest near Big Sky, MT

A peaceful mountain stream in Gallatin National Forest near Big Sky, MT

Peace be with you today…