Meditation on the Breath

If you are not familiar with meditation, please read the Meditation article on this web site before beginning the following meditation practice.

Meditation on the Breath is probably the most ancient, most pure, and most powerful form of meditation. Many find that this method of meditation is very easy and pleasant right from the start. By the end of the first session, many report feeling more calm, clear, and refreshed. For some, long-standing problems such as chronic headaches or feelings of pain may also improve or clear up completely in the first session. With enough practice over time, you can experience significant changes in your mental and physical state within five to ten minutes of meditating like most experienced or seasoned meditators do.


If this is your first time ever meditating, start with a five minute meditation a day and increase the meditation time by five minutes each time you feel ready. Eventually build up to 1 hour a day (or longer if you feel inspired). The best time of the day to meditate is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach to set the tone for the day. If you take a shower in the morning, it is best to meditate after the shower so that the positive energetic gains you normally achieve after meditation are not washed away. Otherwise, wait at least 20 minutes after you meditate to shower. The time you lose from sleep by getting up earlier in the morning will be gained back during the meditation and more as you gain more experience. You’ll notice that your need for sleep decreases with even more energy to spare.

You may also want to meditate throughout the day as the need arises such as a stressful situation or physical discomfort or pain. Even a 2 to 3 minute meditation break can be enough to clear your circuits and recharge you for the next section of your day. Meditating after work when you get home before dinner is also a good time as well as meditating before your go to sleep. Meditating for a few minutes on your breath before falling asleep will make your sleep very healing and a lot more restful. If you cannot do a solid 45 minutes to 60 minutes of meditation a day, the next best thing is to break it up throughout the day morning, afternoon, and night. Even a few minutes of meditation a day is better than no meditation at all so do as much as you can as every little bit does count.

Sitting Position

Meditation is best done sitting instead of lying down (unless you are meditating for just a few minutes right before you fall asleep) since the passive witness mode of meditation involves no active visualization or thinking which can increase your chances of falling asleep (becoming unconscious) if you are lying down. Falling asleep is what we try to avoid during meditation. Falling asleep or losing conscious awareness is not bad, but it is the opposite of the goal or purpose of meditation. You can sit on the floor with your legs crossed or sit in a chair with your legs uncrossed and feet flat on the floor. If sitting on a chair, do not rest your back on the back of the chair (if the chair has a back) since this will cause your spine to arch or slump or make you too relaxed.

If sitting crossed-legged on the floor, sit on a relatively firm cushion or pillow with your buttocks on the cushion/pillow and your legs and feet are on the floor. If it is a hard floor, place the cushion or pillow on a yoga mat so that your legs and feet can rest on the yoga mat. The cushion or pillow (along with the yoga mat if on a hard floor) will help you sustain the meditation position for a longer period of time without getting too uncomfortable or blocking circulation or blood flow through your bottom, legs, and feet.


It is very important to keep your spine erect throughout the meditation to maximize the amount of air that can enter and exit your lungs and keep you from falling asleep. You can do a test yourself by noticing how much air you take in while your posture is slumped versus when your posture is nice and erect, chest open, and shoulders to the side (not pulled forward or back).

Hand Position

Put your hands in the “chin mudra” pose (see picture on the left) with tip of your index finger touching the first joint of your thumb. The other three fingers remain extended outward. Rest your wrists or back of your hands on your knees. The palms facing up opens up your chest and heart and the three fingers that are sticking out straight act as a receiver of energy. The index and thumb forms a circuit which prevents the energy from dissipating into the environment and instead travel back into the body, up through the open chest and heart, and then up to the brain. The wrists touching the knees form another pranic circuit that stimulates a nadi which runs from the knees up the inside of the thighs and into the perineum or root chakra (see Yoga article to learn about nadis and chakras).


Keeping your eyes closed during meditation will help you go within and pay attention to your internal reality. Interestingly, most of us are not use to closing our eyes and not sleeping. We usually either have our eyes open to focus our attention on our external reality and only close our eyes to go to sleep and lose our conscious awareness. Meditation will help us achieve conscious awareness of our inner reality which is really the source of control of our external reality. We just do not know this because we have never really paid attention to our inner reality.

Meditating with your head slightly up naturally moves the focus of your eyes to the “third eye” area between your eyebrows or middle of your forehead. This helps activate the pineal and pituitary gland so they can vibrate in unison to open your “third eye” activating your intuition to access/perceive higher dimensions.

Mind Focus on Breath

Once you are in the correct sitting, posture, and hand position with your eyes closed, focus your mind on your breathing by simply observing it. Do not try to control your breath in any way even if it seems erratic, shallow, slow, or fast. As time goes on, the breath will automatically adjust itself as you practice pranayama later after your meditation practice. During meditation, just simply let the act of observing or attention naturally fall on various aspects of your breathing. For example, you might:

  • notice the rise and fall of your chest as air goes in and out of it
  • feel cool air go in and warm air go out
  • notice that the in-breath is longer or shorter than the out-breath
  • notice that there is a pause at the end of the out-breath with almost no pause at the end of the in-breath

Do not try to calm your mind or relax your body. Let the meditation process do all the work of relaxing your mind and body by itself. Just witness your breath without any judgments, critiques, or comments. If you find yourself losing conscious awareness of your breath and actively engaged in distracting thoughts or images (or even distracting body restlessness or nervousness), simply bring your awareness back to your breath when you become conscious of your mind again.

Becoming the Master of Your Mind & Body

It is normal for your mind and body to wander or for you to lose conscious control of them if you have not been meditating in this way for a long period of time. Your ability to keep conscious control of your mind and body will increase over time with regular and more lengthy practice. Avoid arguing or “talking back” to your thoughts or trying to force them out of your mind (when you become aware that you are doing this) because that gets you out of witnessing mode and into a reactionary mode in in which you actually lose control over your mind instead of gaining control of it. The same applies to your body’s restlessness or nervousness. Just witness them and then come back to the breath.

Opening to Divine Grace

As your mind becomes absorbed in your breathing, accumulated layers of stress, tension, and trapped, frozen, or blocked energy will spontaneously begin to release from your system. Your mind will become more peaceful and under your conscious control and your body will gradually regain its health and vitality. The spiritual life-force that lives in your breath is infinitely wise. It continuously nurtures you and breathes for you 24 hours a day so the more your mind merges into your breath so they essentially become one, the easier it will be for the spirit of life (Divine Grace) to flow through you and take care of all your needs (spiritual, mental, and physical).

Once you reach this point in your meditation experience, you can silently set an intention or ask a question right before you meditate or even during meditation and then watch all the answers come to you. Your mind will transform into your own personal genie, bringing to you whatever you request. Many receive the greatest insights and guidance during meditation. If you begin to receive these productive or positive thoughts, just witness them and then bring your attention back to your breath when you have all the information that was important for you to receive.

Ongoing Practice – Uniting Heaven & Earth

Most importantly, do not judge yourself if you do not experience any of these benefits in the beginning. It does not mean that there is something wrong with you or you are doing something wrong. Like anything new, it takes consistent practice, especially to undo issues or habits that most likely took years or even a lifetime to create. You can be assured that the meditative process is working on the subtlest level of your being even if you are not aware of it yet since you are still in the process of developing internal consciousness.

As you gain more experience, you can try meditating on your breath with your eyes open while doing some routine tasks. It will help bring your awareness of breath into your daily life and give you a great sense of peace and control, making your the tasks even more enjoyable and ultra productive. The ultimate goal of meditation is to bring the expanded consciousness you experience during meditation to your daily life to experience a true union of heaven on earth.