We breathe in and breath out, but there lay a subtle pause between the in-breath and out-breath. Our breath is made of three parts our in-breath, the pause between the in-breath and out-breath and the out-breath itself. These together form the breath in a cyclical manner that is ever-changing as no in-breath and out-breath is the same.
In our meditation practise, we also use the refreshing quality that the in-breath brings with it, for example, to cultivate awakens when there is sleepiness or maybe awareness when we fall into a sense of dullness. Likewise, in our meditation practise, we also use the releasing quality that the out-breath brings with it. For example, to cultivate a sense of physical relaxation or to get a general felt sense of the mind releasing involvement with thinking as the body breaths out. But how many times in our practise, we rest slightly in the pause between them and just notice the quality present within that pause.
Sogyal Rinpoche (2002) tells us the following about meditation practise and the breath as a point of focus. That as we breathe in and out naturally in our practise you:
Focus your awareness lightly on the out-breath. When you breathe out, just flow out with the out-breath. Each time you breathe out, you are letting go and releasing all your grasping. Imagine your breath dissolving into the all-pervading expanse of truth. Each time you breathe out, and before you breathe in again, you will find that there will be a natural gap, as the grasping dissolves. Rest in that gap, in that open space. And when, naturally, you breathe in, don’t focus especially on the in-breath but go on resting your mind in the gap that has opened up.(ibid. p. 72)
So, in this guided meditation practise, we will go through the stages of settling, grounding and resting. Were in the settling part of the practise, we will familiarise ourselves with the cycle of the breath, noticing the in-breath out-breath and the underlying pause. In the grounding phase, grounding the mind in the body, mind and body resting in the unconditional support of the ground. Then moving on into the resting phase, we focus on noticing the pause between in-breaths and out-breaths, cultivating an awareness of this space and the qualities it brings with it into our practise.
Mindful Mornings Guided Meditation – Noticing the Pause Between In-breath and Out-breath
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Rinpoche, S. (2002). The Tibetan book of living and dying (2nd revised edition ed.). London: Rider & Co.