So essentially you are swapping your thoughts of the past or possible future for observing the breath. As the breath is always taking place in the now- it is in the present moment, and observing the breath literally switches one from nhf (not here frequency- thinking of the past or future) or ophf (only partially here frequency) to hf (here frequency). It’s like a time machine that takes you into the present moment.
When one is feeling down or upset, it is often due to some situation running through one’s mind. An unconscious person may spend hours, days or week mulling over it, feeling angry or victimized, a conscious person would more likely, visit it from time to time, sit in the feeling and really feel it. Locate it on the body, breath in and out from this place, and perhaps enter into the feeling of compassion, forgiveness, appreciation and love. The feeling will naturally resolve itself and the person will return to peace. In the process, they may ask themselves questions like:
- How would I feel if I didn't have this thought?
- - Am I, without being aware of it, torturing myself mentally with unpleasant thoughts? Is this an illusion? Am I causing my own suffering? Is this thought real? What is the opposite of this thought- how does that feel?
One then sets a clear intention, that is, imagining and feeling a desired outcome, letting it go and return to doing whatever job is at hand, while observing their breath.
There is no right or wrong way, and a conscious person may deal with the situation exactly as they feel guided to do so. The main difference is that in the conscious response, one takes responsibility for themselves, sees the bigger picture and acts accordingly and in the unconscious response one may automatically react, blame others and not take responsibility for themself.
Anything to say about this? Your own ideas or insights? Please share in the comments section below. Thank you :-)
Adapted from The Meditation Lounge, Meditation techniques and conversation for modern living, by Orla Phelan