A SIMPLE PRACTICE
If you would like to find out more about global Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh and his practices, The Community of Interbeing are a network of people in the UK who practise mindfulness according to his teachings. Teri West, mindfulness teacher for the Community of Interbeing, gives us an insight into mindfulness techniques, with a simple breath exercise.
In Plum Village, our practice is simple. First, we learn how to breathe. We can start to connect with ourselves through the in-breath. The in breath is us. If you practice, the quality will improve. More gentle. More light. We use a gatha:
A gatha is like a mini-mantra - a word or sentence to simply carry on the breath, not to think or wonder about; a tool to bring mind and body into perfect harmony.
In . . . . . Out
Breathing in, we are aware of breathing in; breathing out, we are aware of breathing out
Deep. . . . .Slow
As our in-breath grows deeper, our out-breath grows slower
Calm . . . . .Ease
We can feel our mind grow calmer, our body easier
Smile . . . . .Release
Allowing a half-smile to form on our lips, we can feel a release of tension
Present moment . . . . . Wonderful moment
Enjoying our breath, stopping, calming, we are truly alive