Breathing In, Breathing Out

“‘Breathing in, I calm my body.’ Reciting this line is like drinking a glass of lemonade on a hot day–you can feel the coolness permeate your body. When I breathe in an recite this line, I actually feel my breath calming my body and mind. ‘Breathing out, I smile.’ You know a smile can realx hundreds of muscles in your face. Wearing a smile on your face is a sign that you are master of yourself.”  (pg. 10)
– Thich Naht Hahn, Peace is Every Step

Hanh, T. N. (1991). Peace is every step. New York: Bantam Books.

Anchor Breath Practice

– Settle into a comfortable position with your feet on the floor. Bring one or both hands to your belly and notice your breath. 
– Pay attention to the way way your belly moves outward as you inhale through your nose. And, then, notice how your belly moves inward as you exhale out your nose. 
– If any thoughts arise, simply notice them, without judgement, and let them gently pass like clouds in the sky. 
– And, just stay here, breathing for a few moments, anchoring yourself in this present moment. 
When you are ready, gently open your eyes. 

Heartfulness Practice

Bring your attention to your chest. You may want to place your hands on your chest and feel your heart beating. Notice any feelings or sensations that arise out of your heart. 
Picture a child or a student you care about. Notice what you feel in your heart. You may notice emotions of kindness, goodwill, happiness, or any other heartful emotion. Offer the following wishes to this child or student, silently or out loud: 
– May you be happy
– May you be safe
– May you be healthy
– May you be peaceful

Be aware of your feelings as  you repeat this to yourself. 
Shift your attention to yourself. With the same kindness you had towards the child or student, send these wishes to yourself: 
– May I be happy
– May I be safe
– May I be healthy
– May I be peaceful

Notice any feelings or sensations that arise from your heart. When you feel ready, gently open your eyes. 
(Adapted from Daniel Rechtschaffen’s book, The Mindful Way of Education, pgs. 63-64) 

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