Mojo Monday ~ Breathe

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Meditation Poem (On breathing) 
From The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching, by Thich Nhat Hanh


The fourth element of our body is air. The best way to experience the air element is 
the practice of mindful breathing. “Breathing in, I know I am breathing in. 
Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.” After saying these sentences we can 
abbreviate them by saying “In” as we breathe in and “Out” as we breathe out. We 
don’t try to control our breathing. Whether our in-breath is long or short, deep or 
shallow, we just breathe naturally and shine the light of mindfulness on it. When we 
do this we notice that, in fact, our breathing does become slower and deeper 
naturally. “Breathing in, my in-breath has become deep. Breathing out, my outbreath has become slow.” Now we can practice, “Deep/slow.” We don’t have to 
make an extra effort. It just becomes deeper and slower by itself, and we recognize 
that.

Later on, you will notice that you have become calmer and more at ease. “Breathing 
in, I feel calm. Breathing out, I feel at ease. I am not struggling anymore. 
Calm/ease.” And then, “Breathing in, I smile. Breathing out, I release all my 
worries and anxieties. Smile/release.” We are able to smile to ourselves and release 
all our worries. There are more than three hundred muscles in our face, and when 
we know how to breathe in and smile, these muscles can relax. This is “mouth 
yoga.” We smile and are able to release all our feelings and emotions. The last 
practice is, “Breathing in, I dwell deeply in the present moment. Breathing out, I 
know this is a wonderful moment. Present moment/wonderful moment.” Nothing is 
more precious than being in the present moment fully alive and aware.

“In, out 
Deep, slow 
Calm, ease 
Smile, release 
Present moment, wonderful moment.

If you use this poem during sitting or walking meditation, it can be very nourishing 
and healing. Practice each line for as long as you wish.

Another practice to help us be aware of our breathing is counting. As you breathe 
in, count “one” and as you breathe out, count “one” again. Then “Two/two,” 
“Three/three,” until you arrive at ten. After that, go back in the other direction: 
“Ten/ten,” “Nine/nine,” and so on, until you arrive back at one. If you do get lost go 
back to “one” and begin again. Relax. It’s only a game. When you succeed in 
counting, you can drop the numbers if you like and just say “in” and “out.” 
Conscious breathing is a joy.” 

About Michelle Fairchild

Michelle Fairchild is a writer and artist who at heart is a soulful and sensitive intuitive, a courageous creator, a resilient visionary, a self-esteem fluffer, a marvelous music mixer and one who offers up bridges of connections to her fellow travelers. She believes We Are All Meant to Shine! You can read more of her writing at her web site: We Are All Meant to Shine. (https://weareallmeanttoshine.com/) She is happily married to a middle school science teacher and is the adoring mama to identical twin daughters, who are very active 7-year-olds who keep her dancing. She has a small creative business called Red Boa Productions and also works for a non-profit foster-adoption agency in Northern California.

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