By Shirley-Ann Walters
I have been practising and sharing the Gentle Breath Meditation – as presented by Serge Benhayon of Universal Medicine – for nearly 10 years now. The Gentle Breath Meditation is a beautiful everyday exercise to deeply reconnect. Here are some reflections on my experiences.
What is the Gentle Breath Meditation?
The Gentle Breath Meditation is a very simple practice of breathing gently, at our own pace and our own rhythm, just as we were born to do, and did naturally before our breath was affected by life around us.
What is involved?
It begins by gently closing your eyes to be with you – not to go anywhere, check out or visualise anything, but to come back to you.
Then the focus moves to the breath, specifically the in-breath to start with, and the choice to breathe in GENTLY so it feels like a cool wind at the tip of the nose. After a few minutes, as the in-breath becomes more gentle, the out breath can become the focus, like a warm wind at the bottom of the nose, and so the gentle breathing develops and unfolds naturally as the mind and body come into an alignment together: this is called conscious presence.
There may then be a change as the breath settles, an awareness of the pauses at the top and the bottom of the breath, and a feeling of warmth in the middle of the chest. With practice this connection deepens and can be felt spreading out into the body, and can be taken with you throughout the day.
There is a subtle shift in that we then feel first, think second, as the mind receives from the wisdom of the body and everything gains a certain clarity.
Why do people practise it?
People enjoy practising the Gentle Breath Meditation because they enjoy the feeling of coming back to themselves. For me it brings a sense of clarity and focus to my daily life and I feel more real, unencumbered by emotions, like coming to the eye of a storm away from the chaos around me.
This has deepened over the years such that I feel a connection to a deep knowing, like a true wisdom within me, that I can bring to everything. I am able to feel or sense things much more clearly too, which helps me to make much clearer life decisions generally. Most people are unaware that they have in fact become quite detached from their true self and less aware through becoming caught up in and absorbing the world around them, rather than observing it with a compassionate detachment that is however, not separating.
What difference does it make in other ways?
My relationship with myself is deeper and more loving, as are all my relationships as a result of this being reflected outwards.
I am able to take more responsibility – for myself, my own feelings and how I choose to not react but respond to things that present in my life.
I express myself so much more fully and honestly in every way.
My overall wellbeing is so much greater, there is more light in my eyes, I look younger than I used to, I am more aware of what is more healthy for me to eat, drink, and do – like walking, reading or taking my time over a bath.
It is not that it has changed me, it has brought me back to being more me, like a re-calibration for myself that enables me to address life differently and more productively.
I remember what it felt like in earlier days with the challenges of practising staying connected to me whist doing the most ordinary things, like chopping carrots for dinner, or vacuuming the stairs (for which I once had to sit down and breath gently about five times in order to maintain it.)
Nowadays I am so used to being connected it feels so much easier; it has become a new normal that I hardly have to think about. It is like running my body on a different fuel system, one it really loves.