Preliminary Exercises


It is usual to establish a basic level of concentration before starting to focus on the nature of the breath.

The first stage is to follow the breathing with the mind as it 'travels' from nose tip to navel (breathing in), and back again (breathing out).


The idea of the breath travelling to the navel is a visualisation, not a physical sensation as such.


Once this can be done relatively easily, progress to step two.


The second stage is to use the mind to watch the nose tip while the breath 'travels' to the navel (breathing in), then switch the attention to the navel while the breath returns to the nose tip (breathing out).


Once this can be done relatively easily, progress to step three.


The third stage is watch only the nose tip while breathing in and out.


Once this can be done reasonably consistently, the nature of the breath can be brought into awareness.


Prior to meditating:

  • As you will be breathing through your nose, you can clear your nasal passages by closing one nostril with a finger, scooping up water with the other hand, breathing it into the open nostril, then forcibly exhaling it.
  • Repeat a few times, then again for the other nostril.
  • Take care not to breath the water into the lungs.
  • This is best done away from the meditation halls.



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