This is the ancient and traditional Buddhist Breath Meditation the way I learned it. What seems like a simple thing to do, breathe consciously, turns out to be one of the most difficult acts to maintain over time with awareness! This is not about The Complete Yoga Breath (if you have already studied that series on this site). Don't think about that with this. This is about how to make breath an object of awareness, without changing it. There is no need to change your breath. Leave it as it is—natural. Just this can be difficult.
- When you breathe in, breathe consciously. Let your consciousness move with the incoming breath. And when the breath goes out, let your consciousness move out with it. Move with the breath. Let your attention be with the breath. Flow with it. Do not forget a single breath.
- Try do this as long as you can. It will take a while before you succeed for more than probably 5 minutes. That's fine. Take your time. I repeat so many times: There is no need to rush. Build up the minutes day by day. One hour seems like such a small fragment of time, but it is not. To be completely conscious of your breath means that you are not attached to any thoughts that distract your attention.
- Buddha never said, “stop thinking.” Instead, he said “breathe consciously.” You cannot both think and breathe consciously. When a thought comes into your mind, your attention is withdrawn from the breathing. A single thought and you have become unconscious of the breathing process.
- Do whatsoever you are doing, but do not forget a simple thing: remember the incoming and the outgoing breath. Move with it. The more you try to do this, the more conscious you will become.
- Every moment that the breath goes in, you will get closer to your center—which is the navel and solar plexus.
- Start when the breath is just going into your nose. Begin to be aware of it. If you can go to the very center, for a brief moment breath stops and there is a gap. The breath comes in—the breath goes out. Between the two there is a subtle gap. That gap is your center. Only after practicing breath awareness for a long time, when you are aware of the breath, will you become aware of the gap. Breath is neither coming in nor going out.
- When you breathe out, remain conscious of the breath. Also become aware of the gaps. There is one gap before you inhale, and one gap after you exhale. The second gap is more difficult to be aware of consistently.
- Between the incoming breath and the outgoing breath is your center. There is another center, the cosmic center. In the gap between the exhalation and when it is coming in is the cosmic center. These two centers are not two different things. First you will become aware of your inner center and then you will become aware of the outer center. I know, this sounds like a bunch of hocus-pocus. But after you experience this awareness, you will understand why it is hard to describe in words!
- Ultimately, you will come to know that both of these centers are one. Then out and in will lose their meaning. Source: I found this in the early 1970s and have no idea where it came from. If someone recognizes this as something he or she has copyrighted, please let me know. However, it strikes me that anyone who knows this, would also want the world to know it!