And it is. I’m leaving off Tai Chi, and going ahead and doing a breathing meditation this week. I looked at a couple of them, one from Alberto Villoldo, and another from Anodea Judith; I finally settled on this one:
“Bring your attention to the sensation of breathing. Breathe in long and out long for a couple of times, focusing on any spot in the body where the breathing is easy to notice, and your mind feels comfortable focusing. This could be at the nose, at the chest, at the abdomen, or any spot at all. Stay with that spot, noticing how it feels as you breathe in and out. Don’t force the breath, or bear down too heavily with your focus. Let the breath flow naturally, and simply keep track of how it feels. Savor it, as if it were an exquisite sensation you wanted to prolong. If your mind wanders off, simply bring it back. Don’t get discouraged. If it wanders 100 times, bring it back 100 times.
“If you want, you can experiment with different kinds of breathing. If long breathing feels comfortable, stick with it. If it doesn’t, change it to whatever rhythm feels soothing to the body. You can try short breathing, fast breathing, slow breathing, deep breathing, shallow breathing — whatever feels most comfortable to you right now.
“Once you have the breath comfortable at your chosen spot, move your attention to notice how the breathing feels in other parts of the body. Start by focusing on the area just below your navel. Breathe in and out, and notice how that area feels. If you don’t feel any motion there, just be aware of the fact that there’s no motion. If you do feel motion, notice the quality of the motion, to see if the breathing feels uneven there, or if there’s any tension or tightness. If there’s tension, think of relaxing it. If the breathing feels jagged or uneven, think of smoothing it out… Now move your attention over to the right of that spot — to the lower right-hand corner of the abdomen — and repeat the same process… Then over to the lower left-hand corner of the abdomen… Then up to the navel… right… left… to the solar plexus… right… left… the middle of the chest… right… left… to the base of the throat… right… left… to the middle of the head…[take several minutes for each spot]
“Continue this process through your entire body — over the head, down the back, out the arms & legs to the tips of your finger & toes.”
“Basic Breath Meditation Instructions”, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, 5 June 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/breathmed.html . Retrieved on 19 August 2011.