Exercise 3

1.  Breathing in, I know I am breathing in.                                                In

      Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.                                         Out


2.  Breathing in, my breath grows deep.                                                   Deep

     Breathing out, my breath goes slowly.                                                 Slow


3.  Breathing in, I feel calm.                                                                    Calm

     Breathing out, I feel ease.                                                                 Ease


4.  Breathing in, I smile.                                                                       Smile

     Breathing out, I release                                                                    Release


5.  Dwelling in the present moment.                                                         Present Moment

     I know it is a wonderful moment.                                                             Wonderful Moment

This exercise also can be practiced anywhere, in the meditation hall, in the living room, in the kitchen, or while on a train.

    The first stage is designed to bring body and mind back into oneness and at the same time to help bring us back to the present moment, to connect us with the miracle of life now occurring. If we can breathe in this spirit for two or three minutes, our breathing will quite naturally become light, leisurely, gentler, slower, and deeper, and naturally we shall feel much more at ease in the body as well as in the mind. This is the second stage, "deep, slow." We can stay with this stage for just as long as we like.

    Next we come to "calm, ease" Here we can achieve deeper tranquility (Sanskrit prasrabdhis), a great calm of body and mind, and the joy of meditation will continue to nourish us. The final two stages have already been discussed in exercise two. We can learn by heart the gatha, and we can also sing.

In, out. Deep, slow, Calm, ease. Smile, re-lease.

Pres-ent mo-ment. Won-der-ful mo-ment.

From "The Blooming of the Lotus: Guided Meditations for Achieving the Miracle of Mindfulness" by Thich Nhat Hanh