A mindfulness practice from Tchich Nhat Hanh
(This is taken from his book “Silence” ISBN 978-1-84604-434-2)
Breathing in, I know I’m breathing in
Breathing out, I know I’m breathing out
Breathing in, my breath grows deep
Breathing out, my breath grows slow
Breathing I am aware of my body,
Breathing out I calm my body
(Aware of body. Calming.)
Breathing in, I smile
Breathing out, I release
Breathing in I dwell in the present moment
Breathing out I enjoy the present moment
Tchich Nhat Hanh’s instructions:
With the in breath say the first of the two lines quietly to yourself and with the out breath say the second. With the following in and out breaths you can say just the key words.
My brief thoughts:
You could say this as a short drop in type practice and simply say the whole thing once through. Once you have memorised the 10 lines you could do this at any place and at any time of day.
Alternatively, you could use this as the basis of a sitting practice, taking your time over each couplet. I have done this in recent weeks and added in a body scan after I have said the 3rd couplet. I love the way the ideas start from the breath and build out to the whole of the present moment as an all encompassing idea and event. I also love the happiness in this practice. There is a deepness to it, but not one that comes to you overburdened with seriousness and intellectual striving. Instead he introduces you lightly and kindly to your present moment, undisturbed by thoughts of past or future.