Conscious breathing is the most basic Buddhist practice for touching peace. I would like to offer you this short exercise:

Breathing in, I calm my body.

Breathing out, I smile.

Dwelling in the present moment,

I know this is a wonderful moment.

"Breathing in, I calm my body." This is like drinking a glass of cool water. You feel the freshness permeate your body. When I breathe in and recite this line, I actually experience my breathing calming my body and my mind. In Buddhist meditation, body and mind become one."

"Breathing out, I smile." One smile can relax hundreds of muscles in your face and make you master of yourself. Whenever you see an image of the Buddha, he is always smiling. When you smile with mindfulness, you realize the wonder of a smile.

"Dwelling in the present moment." We recite this line as we breathe in again, and we don't    think of anything else. We know exactly where we are. Usually we say, "Wait until I finish school and     get my Ph,D. degree, and then I win be really alive." But when we obtain it, we say, "I have to wait until    I have a job in order to be really alive." After the job, we need a car, and after the car, a house. We are not   capable of being alive in the present moment. We always postpone being alive to the future, we don't know      exactly when. It is possible we will never be truly alive in our entire life. The technique, if we must speak       of a technique, is to be in the present moment, to be aware that we are here and now, that the only moment to      be alive is the present moment.

When we breathe out, we say, "I know this is a wonderful moment." To be truly here, now, and to enjoy the present moment is our most important task.We can even shorten the verse to six  words. As we breathe in, we say to ourselves, "Calming," and as we breathe out, we say, "Smiling." As we breathe in again, we say, "Present moment," and as we breathe out, "Wonderful moment."  Practicing this way can help us touch peace right away. We don't have to wait for any other conditions to be present.

            - Thich Nhat Hanh

            Vietnamese Zen Buddhist Monk

                    Living Buddha, Living Christ

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