The 10 Breaths Practice

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The 10 Breaths Practice


Excerpted from Ten Breaths to Happiness: Touching Life in Its Fullness, by Glen Schneider

When a beautiful moment presents itself and you encounter something you would like to savor, such as sunlight on a dewdrop:

  • Stop whatever you are doing.
  • Close your eyes, put your dominant hand on your belly, and begin to pay attention to your breathing. Notice the rise and fall of your hand on your belly as you breathe. Take three deep breaths to settle and clear your mind.
  • When you feel more present, open your eyes and look at the object of your concentration. Take a deep, slow breath in and out. That is “one.”
  • Continue counting each breath: “two,” “three,” “four.” Let your encounter unfold naturally. Just behold the object of your concentration and observe it without mental commentary or judgment as you count. Notice its color, shape, sound, or smell.
  • While counting, become aware of your body and any sensations or emotions that may arise. Allow every cell of your body to open up to the encounter. Allow the experience to be as full as possible. Don’t hold back.
  • When you have reached “10,” rest in the feeling of the moment. Then, if you’d like, take 10 more breaths in the same way.

The important thing in practicing 10 breaths is to get started and set your intention to keep on counting with your breath all the way to “10.” When you do this, you create new neural pathways that help anchor your habit of happiness.  By:   Glen Schneider

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