Following the breath as it comes in and goes out, we find it growing shallower until it is almost imperceptible. We don’t try to ‘achieve’ this as though it were a physical exercise; but, almost inevitably, if we persevere, we find our breathing growing smaller until we reach a point of deep stillness and awareness, and begin to glimpse a wisdom deep within us.
It sometimes helps to reinforce the process with a silent phrase.
Thich Nhat Hanh suggests saying mentally:
Breathing in, I know I am breathing in.
Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.
Or again, he suggests:
Breathing in, I am aware of my body.
Breathing out, I release all the tension in my body.
Alternatively we may choose to take one of the following:
I am breathing Love in.
I am breathing Love out.
I am breathing God in.
I am breathing God out.
I am receiving.
I am giving back.
You can make up your own. It is like the sea, with the tide coming in, and then withdrawing back into the depth of the ocean. We breathe in and we breathe out…