chapter  17
8 Pages

Preparing and training one's mind: Mindfulness and soothing breathing rhythm

Over the last 100 years or so there has been growing interest in a variety of spiritual traditions and mind-training practices that originated in non-Western societies. Among these has been interest in a variety of martial arts ( judo and karate), movement-focused approaches (e.g., yoga, chi gong, tai chi) and various forms of Buddhism (e.g., Theravada, Mahayana and Zen). Although different schools are associated with different traditions and practices, a common link between them is training the mindÐand in particular one's attention. These traditions make a distinction between experience and ``experiencing experience'', awareness and ``awareness of awareness''. So, for example, I can suffer anxiety but I can also be aware that I'm suffering anxiety. I can think about my anxiety, allow my thoughts and attention to be controlled by my anxietyÐor I can observe my anxiety, choose to be with it, accept it but not act on it. I can pay attention to my breathing and focus my attention ``through an act of choice''.