Nine Breath Mind Clearing

June 1st, 2015   •   Comments Off on Nine Breath Mind Clearing   

by Jen Sellers

BowRiverAndMtnHere’s a Mindful Leadership practice for you – a nine-breath mind-clearing exercise. Use it between activities, as you leave one activity behind and prepare for the next, for example, between email and a meeting, between one phone call and another, between a conversation and working on a project.

You can be sitting or standing, and as you gain experience with it, you can even be moving from place to place. This practice takes only a few minutes to learn and a few seconds to do. Listen to the exercise here.

The Exercise

  • Begin with an in-breath, and hold light awareness on the breath. As you breathe out, with continued awareness of the breath, count “One.”
  • Continue in this way for two more breaths, counting “Two” and “Three” on the out-breaths.
  • If your mind wanders in any way, don’t be concerned. Just return your focus to the breath and your outbreath counting.
  • On the next in-breath, add awareness of your body. As you breathe in and out, counting outbreaths Four, Five, and Six, notice areas in your body of ease and of tightness, of comfort and of discomfort. Lightly investigate areas that you haven’t noticed at all. Again, don’t be concerned about your mind wandering or about whether you’re doing the practice exactly right.
  • On the next in-breath, while continuing your light attention on your breath and your body, listen to the sounds around you. As you experience breaths Seven, Eight, and Nine, be aware of your breath, your body, and the larger world all at once, noticing sounds both close in and far away.

And that’s it! Try this mind-clearing as many times as you can remember throughout your day. If occasionally you don’t feel you have time for nine breaths, try three…or one! You can take these instructions as a starting point and modify the exercise in any way that fits for you. Experiment with the practice and notice, both gently and objectively, what effects it has for you. And please share with us what you learn!

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