Should I be aware of the breath at all times?

Should I be aware of the breath at all times?

by Headspace_HQ » Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:07 pm

Question:

Is the aim that I am to be conscious of my breathe at ALL times? What if I am studying or playing with my children or absorbed in a task? Is the technique just to deal with distractions from this absorption or is the absorption itself a distraction from the breathe?


Andy's Answer:

Yeah, this is a common question and you'll be pleased to know the answer is very straightforward.

So, meditation is a time when we step out of everyday activities and take some time to rest and re-focus. In order to this, we need something to focus on, so we use the breath.

Away from the meditation, we look for opportunities to apply that same quality of mind to whatever we are doing. This is often referred to as mindfulness, or meditation-in-action. However, the idea here is not to focus on the breath, but rather focus our attention on whatever we are doing, but still with that same sense of ease and focus.

There is an old saying that goes like this:

"When you sit, just sit; when you eat, just eat; and when you walk, just walk"

This is what we aim for, rather than sitting and thinking, we focus on the breath, rather than chewing and thinking, we focus on the taste, and rather than walking and thinking, we are present in the body, aware of our immediate environment.
 
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