Breathe! You Are Alive : Thich Nhat Hanh

6 Aug

Following up on post ” Thich Nhat Hanh : Be Beautiful,Be Yourself”, would like to share simple breathing practices from the book” Thich Nhat Hanh : Breathe! You Are Alive ( Sutra on the full awareness of Brathing)”.  This is one of my favorite books by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. I have been wanting to share breathing practices taught by Buddha enunciated in the book for long for you dear friends. It is simple and profound. It is healing and can lead to a insight and therefore transformation. It can liberate us from our never ending woes and transgressions. it can instill a moment of peace and joy. Hope you would like these  breathing practices friends.

The sixteen methods of inhaling and exhaling are the essence of full awareness of breathing:
The four preliminary exercises
” Breathing in, I know I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.”
1. ” Breathing in a long breath,I know I am breathing in a long breath. Breathing out a long breath, I know I am breathing out a long breath.”

2.” Breathing in a short breath,I know I am breathing in a short breath. Breathing out a short breath, I know I am breathing out a short breath.”

3.” Breathing in ,I am aware of my whole body. Breathing out, I am aware of my whole body.”

4.” Breathing in ,I calm  my whole body. Breathing out, I calm my whole body.”

The second four exercises

5.” Breathing in ,I feel joyful. Breathing out, I feel joyful.”

6.” Breathing in ,I feel happy. Breathing out, I feel happy.”

7.” Breathing in ,I am aware of my feelings in present moment. Breathing out, I am aware of my feelings in present moment.”

8.” Breathing in ,I calm my feelings in present moment. Breathing out, I calm my feelings in present moment.”

The next four exercises

9.” Breathing in ,I am aware of my mind. Breathing out, I am aware of my mind.”

10.” Breathing in ,I make my mind happy. Breathing out, I make my mind happy.”

11.” Breathing in ,I concentrate my mind. Breathing out,I concentrate my mind.”

12.” Breathing in ,I liberate my mind. Breathing out,I liberate my mind.”

The final four exercises

13.” Breathing in ,I observe impermanent nature of all dharmas. Breathing out,I observe impermanent nature of all dharmas.”

14.” Breathing in ,I observe the disappearance of desire. Breathing out,I observe the disappearance of desire.”

15.” Breathing in ,I observe cessation ( from negativity and illusion). Breathing out,I observe cessation ( from negativity and illusion).”
16.” Breathing in ,I observe letting go. Breathing out,I observe letting go.”

For those interested in commentaries on these practices and book :
http://www.amazon.com/Breathe-You-Are-Alive-Awareness/dp/0712654275

I have been trying these practices regularly and found them useful. I generally do two inhalation and exhalation of each of above breathing practices and it takes me twenty minutes. I feel fresh and grateful after same. The idea is to make these practices pleasant and we should do it with a smile.

It is not necessary to follow a sequential order,we can concentrate on a single inhalation and exhalation of sutra( practice) as much as we want. The master says if we do one for ten minutes would be nice. I prefer to do all in two inhalations and exhalations of each. It is purely on us and we can really make it pleasant.

I feel it is practice which is more deeper than reading or listening to a discourse. Hence wanted to share same for you dear friends. it is non sectarian and bereft of rituals. Hope you find these useful. May it lead to a insight or transformation or even joy. This is a labour of love and hope it is of service. Have a nice smiling day dear friends.  Please give it a try and remember smile is a deep practice 🙂 Thank you!

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