Breathing meditation techniques are highly recommended by almost all wellness organisations today. They have played a huge role in elevating our mental and spiritual well-being since many centuries. And there is a very good reason why these techniques have been so effective.
Think of a time when you were in solitude, feeling calm and peaceful. Maybe that one morning, when you woke up early enough to witness the chorus of birds orchestrated by Mother Nature. And now contrast it with that time when you were stuck in traffic, getting late for work, and the stubborn red light was simply refusing to turn green. Can you recall the stark difference between these two experiences?
Our emotions dictate our mental responses. A peaceful emotional state keeps the mind reasonably quiet, while an agitated state acts as a magnet for all kinds of thoughts. That much might seem very obvious. But a lesser known fact is the link between our thoughts, breathing, and meditation. Let us understand this connection through 3 simple equations.
Equation 1: More Thoughts = Faster Breathing
There is a very strong correlation between our breathing pattern and our thoughts. The more we think, the faster we breathe. It is as simple as that.
- An average human being gets nearly 60,000 thoughts in a day. This translates to 42 thoughts in a minute.
- When the mind is relatively calm, we take 20 breaths in a minute, on average. When we speak, or when the mind’s emotional activity is heightened due to stress, anxiety, excitement etc., this number usually goes up to around 30.
- And so, 20 breath cycles are roughly equivalent to 42 thoughts.
This link between breathing and thoughts is also shown by a research conducted at Yale University. The key is that this link is a symmetric equation, which implies that the opposite is also true – faster breathing induces more thoughts. More thoughts usually mean more stress and anxiety. And thus an extremely effective technique to reduce the quantity of our thoughts is to slow down our breathing.
Equation 2: Meditation = Lesser Thoughts
This is where meditation comes into play. One of the numerous benefits of meditation is that it slows down our breathing. Most meditation techniques start by concentrating the awareness on our breath, guiding the meditator to take slower and deeper breaths. This brings down the rate of inhalation from 20 breaths per minute to around 4 breaths per minute. Using the first equation, it is easy to derive that this reduced breathing rate discards 80% of our thoughts, leaving us with only 9 or 10 thoughts every minute. Wow! But wait, how exactly is that a good thing?
Equation 3: Meditation = Pure Thoughts
The benefits of meditation do not simply end at the quantitative aspect of our thoughts. Meditation also impacts the quality of our thoughts. But how?
Nature tends to eliminate anything that is not of use. The effects of this law are easily seen on the physical body in the form of removal of toxins. But the same law applies to our mental body too! 90% of our thoughts are repetitive, and the vast majority of them are either negative (anger, jealousy, greed etc.) or pretty useless (gossip, daydreaming, over-thinking etc.). So when meditation triggers our mental sanitization, these negative and waste thoughts are the first to be flushed out of our system! The thoughts that escape this cleansing process are mostly those that are necessary (planning, problem-solving etc.), positive (forgiveness, contentment, honesty etc.), or elevated (selflessness, unconditionality, love etc.). This decluttering of the mind also frees up much needed space that is essential for creative insights and intuition.
Meditate with a Master
Through years of careless and unaware living, we have handed the keys of our mind to the whimsical situations of life. As a result, our thoughts and emotions remain at their mercy. These simple equations of meditation and breathing show that there is light at the end of what has been a long and dark tunnel – we can reinstate ourselves as the masters of our mind. But only if we open our eyes, find someone who has already attained this mastery, and meditate under their guidance.
Practice with these guided meditation tracks.
Being aware of the breath is the 1st stage.
Being aware of the thoughts is the 2nd.
Being aware of the emotions is the 3rd.
Rest happens by itself…
I want to be educated how to meditate and keep our life calm and soothing.
I am following Vipasana Meditation technology..& it is very good..I don’t want to involve any God in meditation but only to concentrate on breathing action.