short films
Breathe-Observing  – Meditation Experience of a Beginner

Breathe-Observing – Meditation Experience of a Beginner

Steve Williamson

Practitioner at Buddha Jewel Monastery

---

 

In. Out. In. Out.

For the past eight months, each observed in-breath and each observed out-breath has microscopically altered the trajectory of the consciousness I’ve called “I” for the past 55 years. Like many beginners, I sought something new. Instead, I’ve discovered the little-by-little losing of things old: old habits, old impurities, old expectations.

It’s been subtle to be sure. So subtle I might ask myself: “Was that little patch of me that just sloughed off, was that my precious pride or the rough edge of ego?” Sometimes, I have to squint to recognize the progress. Still, I’ve been delighted to rediscover that underneath my exterior scales lies my old clearer and kinder self, a hidden treasure trove of my basic goodness. Not yet observable to others perhaps, but real nonetheless.

Back again…and again…to this moment…then to this moment…then to this moment. This path of breath-observing has been challenging to my Western mind, accustomed more to reliving the past or pre-living the future. And yet back to the breath, I uncover both questions and gratitude. Currently, three questions arise:

Get latest articles by E-mail every week

Subscribe to our free newsletter and get our latest articles every week into your mailbox

  • Who/What is this observer of the breath whom I call “I”?
  • How can I become kinder, more compassionate?
  • What about Right Livelihood?

Sometimes, gratitude responds to the questions; gratitude for this new exploration of reality, of mind. Gratitude for our Buddha Jewel Monastery founded a few years ago in one of our nation’s most racially, economically and religiously diverse neighborhoods; gratitude for our shifus and my classmates, for their commitment to sharing the Dharma; and gratitude for the Buddha.

With a beginner’s mind, I have few lessons to offer, but three steps have helped me with my path.

First, I journal my daily meditations. When my practice stalls, I persevere because a previous journal entry recalls the profound value of simply observing.

Second, I’ve begun a second meditation; some days–at work for 10-20 minutes—to cool the heat of the workaday world.

Third, I try to breath-observe while walking to and from work: In-In-In. Out-Out-Out. Three steps for each in-breath, three steps for each out-breath.

Breath-observing has launched me on a new space and time trajectory—more here, more now—than where I was headed only eight months ago. While I mostly observe my breath in solitude, I am drawn to meditating with others, either in the Monastery with classmates or at home with my wife. I believe this is because my consciousness isn’t so separate from others. This breath-observer whom I call “I” is interconnected with other consciousnesses, just as I’ve always deeply observed.

In. Out. In. Out.

Please do leave your comments at the bottom and do share with others if you like this article.

Upcoming Events

  • Personal Development

    Take 2 – Bring your life’s calling alive

    Sanjay Dutt and Ameet Mattoo

    Have you been thinking that you could be doing more in your life? -That you are not being your best? -That there are things which are limiting you; and not letting you live your full potential? -Maybe you have lived a fulfilling life so far, learnt and grown from your choices; and now curiously wanting to shape the life ahead? -Or maybe, you took a break; or need a break from obligations and burdens ,that seem to have a gravity of their own? In all this, that talent, that passion, that dream you wish to see…are wanting to come alive fully. Take 2 is a 3.5 days residential program; an immersive journey to re-design one's Life and Work.

    1. date 9th Jan to 12th Jan 2020 11.00 am Jan 9th to 3.30pm Jan 12th, 2020

    2. Show More


2
Leave a Reply

avatar
2 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
2 Comment authors
Enrico GalardSandhya Srinivasan Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Sandhya Srinivasan
Sandhya Srinivasan

very nice. loved this sentence – “Was that little patch of me that just sloughed off, was that my precious pride or the rough edge of ego?”

Enrico Galard
Enrico Galard

Meditation for beginners is easier than you think.Meditation is a powerful and ancient meditation technique that is proven to help reduce stress, alleviate anxiety and depression, and even help with pain and illness.

---