Here are some quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh that underscore the importance of slowly, deeply, gently breathing:
Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.
Whenever we are carried away by our thinking, when we are overwhelmed by strong emotions, or when our minds are restless and dispersed, we can return to our breathing.
Your breathing should flow gracefully, like a river, like a water snake crossing the water, and not like a chain of rugged mountains or the gallop of a horse. To master our breath is to be in control of our bodies and minds. Each time we find ourselves dispersed and find it difficult to gain control of ourselves by different means, the method of watching the breath should always be used.
Anger is like a storm rising up from the bottom of your consciousness. When you feel it coming, turn your focus to your breath.
It’s like when you’re flying in an airplane. Whenever severe turbulence comes along, the seatbelt keeps you from getting thrown around the cabin. Mindful breathing is your seatbelt in everyday life—it keeps you safe here in the present moment. If you know how to breathe, how to sit calmly and quietly, how to do walking meditation, then you have your seatbelt and you’re always safe.
Breathing mindfully, you are already finding a refuge in your breath, and you become aware of what’s going on in your body, your feelings, your perceptions, your mental formations, and your consciousness.
Let me know which of these quotes are your favorites. Leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Thank you!
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Your Friend and Pep Pal,