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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Time to Breathe: Awareness of the Present Moment

image courtesy Mindfulness Without Borders

"Time to Breathe" is a mindfulness practice that was developed by Mindfulness Without Borders and is reproduced here with their permission.
A first step to developing more mindfulness in your daily life is learning new ways to pay attention and connect to experiences in the moment. One easy way to bring your awareness to the present moment is developing a consistent breathing practice. We call this core mindfulness practice "time to breathe." 
To get started, schedule specific times in the day that you can stop, take time to breathe and observe how that works for you. Ideally, practice breathing mindfully for 3-5 minutes a day. 
  • Sit in a comfortable position. Allow both soles of your feet to connect to the floor.
  • Rest your hands on your thighs and let your shoulders drop.
  • Gently close your eyes or look for a reference point somewhere on the floor where you can return your eyes when they get distracted.
  • Let your spine grow tall and noble like the trunk of a tall tree.
  • Take a moment to notice how your body feels as you bring your attention to the flow of your breath.  You don’t need to breathe in a special way. Your body knows how to breathe.
  • Simply notice each breath coming into the body with an in-breath, and leaving the body with an out-breath.
  • If you notice your mind is caught up in thoughts, concerns, emotions or body sensations, know that this is normal.
  • Notice what is distracting you and gently let it go without judgment, by redirecting your attention back to the breath.
  • Keep escorting your attention back to the experience of breathing.
  • When you are ready, slowly bring your attention back to your surroundings and let how you feel now guide you.

Time to Breathe is sometimes called Tuza, which means "to slow down and chill" in one of the local dialects in Rwanda, where Mindfulness Without Borders first developed some of their mindfulness activities.

You can access a recording of this practice and other mindfulness practices by visiting:

To learn more, please contact:

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