Every breath is a new chance

Now and then I get the chance to lead a meditative yogaclass for a group of 30 people. Last Thursday I got such enthusiastic responses, I thought I’d share the 3 main points of the class below.

This is something I’ve practiced consistently last month, whenever possible, during my daily hour of formal meditation as well as daily activities. I found it to be quite insightful.

After a while it was the first thing on my mind when waking up. I find I’m still applying it, although I practice with a different self-inquiry this month.

1. Observe change

Everything is constantly changing. Even as we are sitting still, not doing anything, there are thoughts, emotions and sensations passing by all the time, completely by themselves. Our senses register the environment. We don’t have to do anything ourselves. The point is to keep recognizing this, that continuous change, happening by itself.

2. Think “Yes” on every inhale

When you notice a sensation, it can be pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. It’s easy to say “Yes” to the pleasant and neutral ones, but a lot harder to say “Yes” to the difficult ones. It’s not about agreeing with everything, but about acknowledging things as they are, including challenging experiences. This “Yes” means as much as “Yes, I see it.”

3. Think “Let go” on every outhale

This is not about pushing experiences away, more about giving them the chance to pass by themselves. If you can’t let go of something (un)pleasant right now, maybe you can on the next exhale? Or the one after that?

Every breath is a new chance.

If you want to give this a try for a while, you can use this Lift habit to help you remember.

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