“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”
— Lao Tzu
An easy way to stay in the present and take control over the thousand little thoughts that bombard our brains on a daily basis is to adopt an effortless technique called breath focus.
Breath focus will enable you to make for yourself a state of calmness amidst turbulent times. One can do it anywhere, in line in the supermarket, waiting for a plane, train or bus, in the quiet and amidst the bustle of a city street.
I particularly love doing my breath focus in the shower. There is something magical about having a focused shower. You already know where the soap goes; you do not need to think about it. A perfect time to practice breath focus, under the soothing flow of shower.
So, what is breath focus? It merely is paying attention to the breath. Being an observer to this most basic of all our functions that we take for granted.
Imagine if you will that you are in your shower, you absentmindedly reach for and start soaping yourself, your mind is wandering to a thousand different thoughts. Now, while you are in the imaginary shower with the warm water cascading over you bring your attention to your breath is it in or out, continue to search for your breath.
Now you have located your breath consciously decide to work with it. Start by taking a deep breath and as you do notice the feeling of your expanded chest. Note how far you can stretch your ribcage.
Now exhale, this time put your mind to your stomach and as you exhale notice it deflating, notice it relaxing, notice it becoming soft.
Notice your breath as it passes your nose, is it warm? Notice the speed, the pressure. Now push the breath all the way out, out, out.
Now repeat, as you breathe in pay attention to every tiny part of your in breath all the in and all the way down.
Repeat, until no thought enters but those of you following the breath.
Congratulations you have just meditated. Move on with your day in a calm and relaxed manner and when you remember it be present to the breath.