Ten Breaths



The Ten Breaths practice helps you feel connected with nature and can bring an experience of beauty and joy.  It is also a practice of attention, an opportunity to notice the mind’s tendency to wander and be distracted, and to practice bringing the mind back to the object of your focus.

The starting point is awareness of your breath - the ability to feel your body moving as it breathes.  The technique itself couldn't be more simple - observe something with full attention, and breathe for ten long, steady breaths.  Clouds, water, flowers, leaves in the breeze, sunlight and shadow, waves at the beach, a sunrise or sunset, the moon or stars - the best object is simply the one that captures your attention for a moment - then you stay with it for a short while.

Ten breaths doesn't sound long, but you may be surprised at how long it seems when you're fully aware of the experience.  You may get a few breaths into the practice and notice your mind wanting to jump somewhere else, wanting to turn away from the object of your attention.  This is where the practice becomes most powerful - you refuse the distraction, staying with the count of breath and redoubling your concentration - looking for more detail, more subtlety - and there is always more.  After ten breaths (or longer if you choose), release the practice, resume normal breathing and go on your way - focused, refreshed, perhaps even amazed.