It sounds easy doesn’t it? This is probably one of the most basic instructions for meditation, yet also very challenging. You see, it’s very difficult to observe yourself, sitting quietly, and just breathing. Our tendency is to change the breath as we observe it.  I always want to slow it down and lengthen the breath. Instead of changing the breath, simply observe.
Find a comfortable seated position. Use a back support, or sit on a chair if sitting unsupported is uncomfortable. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Become the observer of your breath. Notice where the breath causes movement in the body. Do you breathe at the belly, the ribs or the upper chest? Are you trying to change your breath again? Try to come back and just observe what is happening.
Notice how your brain will wander away. Notice if you are rating your ability to meditate as if you are in the Meditation Olympics. Nudge your attention back to the breath. Observe the sensation of your breath moving through your nostrils, or if you are congested, through your lips. Did you wander away again? Just come back to the breath.
Once you are done, share with us how it went.  What worked, what was challenging, where did your mind wander, how did you feel?
~ Janet Carscadden

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