Awareness of Breathing

Basic Criteria to Meditate

One of my students asked: Who can meditate? How about someone who is physically or mentally ill or challenged?

Two basic criteria necessary for cultivating mindfulness and meditation:

  • 1) Are we breathing? It shows that we are alive.

  • 2) Are we aware that we are breathing? There are so many living organisms, but they don't know that they are alive. We are homo sapiens – species that knows. Unfortunately we are mostly sleep-living. This is the source of our ignorance and suffering. Cultivating mindfulness is about developing and strengthening our awareness and meditation is one of the best practices to cultivate it.

So, as long as we are breathing and know that we are breathing, we can practice meditation and cultivate mindfulness. If we can practice it even when we are tired or sick, we are well-trained indeed!

Power of Mindful Breathing

Our breath is a powerful grounding/anchoring tool that is naturally available to us. It connects our body and mind – bringing us to Here-Now… and it gives clear awareness of our physical and mental states. It touches both voluntary and involuntary nervous systems, so it allows us to ground and train ourselves to relax and let go.

Buddha praises mindfulness of breathing: "Peaceful and sublime, an unadulterated blissful abiding, which banishes at once and stills evil unwholesome thoughts as soon as they arise"

Whenever feeling anxious or stressful…angry or irritated... we can give ourselves the gift of mindful breathing. We don’t have to be a victim of our situations. All it takes is just three Deep and Slow breathing.

Our well-being is a practice! Our happiness is a habit!

This is not about ignoring our reality or running away from our problem, but finding a skillful and dynamic grounding in this ever changing and shifting nature of life. So we can courageously and skillfully learn to dance in the middle of the storm.


CK. Kamaraj

05 November 2020