So I do.
I watch my breath IN and my breath OUT while walking, running, bicycling, swimming, sleeping, meditating, making love – nearly every activity in my life. I consciously begin by watching my calming, energizing, life-giving breath.
Everything that I do becomes a joyful, energizing, meditative, calming, and life-enhancing event when it begins with a conscious watching of my own breath.
How can that be?
It is as easy and natural as the breath itself.
I simply begin an activity by focusing my inner vision and awareness on the air being drawn into my lungs through my nostrils. Nostrils widen. Cool air can be felt being drawn into my nose, through my throat, and into my lungs.
Then I “watch” warmer air being forced out of those same lungs, through the escape tunnel of my throat, and into the nostrils. This warmer air then exits widened nostrils.
After a short pause, the process begins again. Life-giving. Meditative. Joyful. Rhythmic and with a purpose. Calming my whole being.
Watching my breath and using its rhythmic pulse is the key to deep and calming meditation, sound sleep, effective exercise, and purposeful joyful living.
Running puts me into a calming, meditative, and joyful – almost timeless – zone when my breath sets the pace. In breath, three strides (visible, watched, calming). . . out breath, three strides (visible, watched, calming) . . . in breath, 1 2 3, . . . out breath, 1 2 3. . ., three strides – in, three strides – out; “to infinity and beyond” [as Buzz Lightyear would say]. Effortlessly feeling stronger and more energized as my legs take me 3. . .5 . . .15. . . up to 30 miles (occasionally) in this life-enhancing zone.
In swimming, then, it is: Push off, turn my face to the left. Breathe air in through my mouth. Put my face down in the water and push the breath out of my mouth into the water as I stroke four times [twice with each arm]. Turn my face to the right. Breathe in, . . . rhythmic, conscious breath awareness. Calming. Energizing. Joyful. Life-giving.
Everything in my life becomes a joyful, living, loving, calming experience through breath awareness. And that calmness brings a clear and startling awareness of what life really is.
It is kinda like being out in the country on a warm and starry night and looking up into the panorama of twinkling stars and planets with the stardust swath of the Milky Way meandering across it. This sight is not visible in the brightly lighted city. IT provides a startling awareness of the vastness of the universe.
Watch your calming breath in and out a few times, and breathe deeply, then smile, love, and be happy with the person you are right now, okay?