The Breath Series
The skills learned in the Breath Technique will be "tools" that you will use to practice the Inner Body awareness technique in Volume II - Inner Body.
We will be providing you with very simple, easy to follow instructions every step of the way. As a major component of your mindfulness training, we will remind you more often to stay aware in the beginning, and decrease those reminders as you progress through each level. This allows you to increase your own awareness and ability to maintain your focus. The goal is to give you independence from this or any other meditation program, so that you can have an effective and deep meditation practice of your own. Please read below for a detailed explanation of each guided level of the Breath Series:
We learn very basic breath awareness, focusing on the most obvious, i.e. the simple awareness that “I am breathing right now”. We watch the flow of breath come into and out of the nostrils, feel the rise and fall of our abdomen, and notice the change in air temperature from inhale to exhale. This gives our mind an object of focus, thus quieting the ceaseless stream of mental noise. We learn to keep our attention intensely focused on this awareness of breathing. We are calming and quieting the mind, this is the very beginning of mindfulness.
We continue, narrowing our awareness introducing the four-part breath cycle:
1. The Inhale
2. The still-point at the change of flow direction (to exhale)
3. The exhale
4. The still-point at the change of flow direction (to inhale).
We also begin to focus on the actual “feelings of breathing”, taking us deeper into the experience of the “now” by “feeling” what is happening in the present moment because our breath is always happening “now”. Our mind is becoming more piercing as we sharpen and focus our awareness. We start to perceive a more “one-pointed” conciousness.
Continuing with distinct awareness of the four-part breath cycle: Inhale, still-point, exhale, still-point, and so on. Now our awareness is on the distinct sensations associated with breathing limited to the rings of the nostrils and all sensations of breath felt on the upper lip as a result of air passing over this region. Now our mind is becoming very focused and one-pointed. We can keep our mind quiet and aware by maintaining our focus on these very specific sensations. We are now beginning to approach the Inner Body awareness by focusing more on sensations. This is the necessary training to learn to feel very sensitively in a very small area on the body. Eventually, we will feel the entire body's sensations with this heightened sensitivity. This is Inner Body awareness, and is the key to developing insight, which is a direct connection with your inner subconscious self.
In the Final level of the Breath Series, we are essentially beginning our Inner Body work. We no longer place any emphasis on breath awareness, and focus only on our sensations on the small piece of skin just below the nose. This completes our transition from breath awareness, to inner body awareness. The breath has been our compass, which allowed us to cross this bridge from ordinary everyday consciousness to the very distinct heightened awareness of the inner body.
You will continue working with Breath IV until you have a very sensitive and distinct awareness of sensations on this small patch of skin. Examples of common sensations experienced are a very noticable tingling, or a three-dimensional sensing of the entire upper lip, inside and out. You may feel the pulse of your heartbeat, the movement of your breath across it and the temperature of the air or any variation of these feelings. These are feelings which you've probably never noticed this intensely, but have always been there on a subconscious level, 24 hours a day.
Thus far, you have achieved a deep understanding of mindfulness and you will start to see direct benefits in your daily life. As long as you continue practicing, you will experience a sharper, focused mind and a longer attention span. You will have more patience, and your thoughts will feel much clearer with a noticeable reduction in mental noise.
At this point, you will want to keep going and learn the next half of the course, the Inner Body series. This will take you much deeper into your reactive subconscious mind providing you with priceless insights and wisdom into the nature of your mental habit patterns.