Using one’s breath as a focal point for meditation is probably the most common meditation technique I’ve come across. For good reason- your breath is portable. It’s always with you. If you’re not breathing, you probably have larger issues than working with mindfulness. Or you’ve moved beyond the need to work with it. I realized, years ago when I first began to meditate, that one of my common reactions to stress and anxiety was to hold my breath. My massage therapist pointed it out to me and the fact that I did this regularly and didn’t even notice I was doing it, was a bit of a shock. Now, as a bodyworker myself, I know that it’s not just me- this is very common issue. Most of my clients exhibit some degree of inhibitive breathing. Part of what I do for them is to help them become more aware of their own bodies, their own natural rhythms. Their breath is the first place we start. Awareness of the breath, without judgement, is the first, best place to begin to reconnect with yourself.
For me, a sunrise or sunset is a visual reminder to pause and check in- with the world around me, with my own body. The pause helps me to re-sync and re-attune, both within my own body and between my body and the larger, timeless rhythms of the Earth.
There’s magic in this very moment…
(Photo: Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, Ireland. Sunset over the Hills. All content © Karen Opp. All rights reserved.)