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As its name implies, the ‘Mindfulness of Breathing’ uses the breath as an object of concentration. By focusing on the breath you become aware of the mind’s tendency to jump from one thing to another. The simple discipline of concentration brings us back to the present moment and all the richness of experience that it contains. It is a way to develop mindfulness, the faculty of alert and sensitive awareness. And it is an excellent method for cultivating the states of intense meditative absorption known as dhyana. As well as this, the mindfulness of breathing is a good antidote to restlessness and anxiety, and a good way to relax: concentration on the breath has a positive effect on your entire physical and mental state.
The meditation has four progressive stages leading to a highly enjoyable level of concentration. To start with five minutes per stage is a good period of practice.
Listen to or download full guided introductions to the Mindfulness of Breathing.