Shamata Meditation Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 5

Low Belly Breath

10 min - Practice


Focus on the sensation of the breath in the low belly. We draw our attention inward, feeling the weight and stability of the body supporting the gentle undulation of the inhale and exhale. We explore opening the eyes with a soft gaze while maintaining the awareness of the breath, gradually relaxing the technique as we slowly move out of our mediation.
What You'll Need: No props needed

About This Video

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Jul 16, 2020
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Welcome back. In this practice, we are going to observe our breath in our belly, in our low belly. And I will use the gong to indicate the beginning and the end of the practice. So find your seat, close your eyes, let's begin. Drawing your attention inwards, noticing any sensations in the body, feeling the weight of your seat, the gravitational pull, the heaviness of your legs.

Find your breath beneath your navel center. Feel the soft undulation of the inhale and the exhale and the pause. Again, noticing if your mind is drawn away by a thought or a sensation. Or a feeling, simply notice it and return to the sensation of the breath, the calm undulation in and out, softening all the internal organs around the sensation of the breath. And now gently open the eyes, gaze soft, a few feet in front of you.

Maintaining in your environment, while still maintaining your awareness of your breath in your belly, the soft rising and falling like waves. Calm mind, soft breath, stable, clear body. Noticing any tension that may be forming in the mouth and the jaw and just softening that tension when you notice it. And again, returning to the sensation of the breath at the lower belly. Maintaining your awareness of the breath at the lower belly.

Again, checking in with the physical body. Maintaining your legs, your seat, your chest, the drop of the shoulders, the relaxation of the jaw, subtle tilt in the back of the neck and the eyes soft gazing forward. The weight of the arms as they rest on the upper thighs. And again, the rising and falling of breath at your belly. Feel free to close your eyes, to tune into the sensation of it more deeply.

And again, softly open the eyes, gentle gaze. Soft belly, easy breath. Soft gaze, stable body. Now relax the technique a little, let your awareness begin to mix in the space. Raise your gaze ever so slightly.

Taking in more of the room, noticing in your peripheral vision, the objects, the lights in the space, feeling the sensations in your body. As you begin to open up your field of vision and awareness. Relaxing the technique. Simply noticing what arises in the visual field, what you hear, any thoughts, sensations. And then gently raise the gaze, taking in even more of the room, soft breath.

Bring the hands into the heart, gently bow. Thank you.


Sara S
1 person likes this.
So gentle, so inviting. Thank you
1 person likes this.
Sara S I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for your feedback. 
Sandra Židan
Nice and calming meditation! Thanks, Erin!
Mohsin J
Hi Erin , hope you are well. 
Great course. I have been interested in mindfulness for a long time and have been reading books on it.
I have few questions.
1) I know we are supposed to observe our breath during the meditation, but when I try to observe it, I start breathing consciously, which makes me feel a bit uncomfortable(nothing serious, it is just that I start controlling my inhale and exhale consciously and I don't know how long they should be and because of that I have to take longer breaths to make myself feel normal again. ) . Any advice how to overcome this and how to keep my breathing natural and just observe it?
2) Another thing, do I have to do the meditations in the sequence you have posted or is it alright to do whichever I like and is it alright if I do one type of meditation more often than others or I have to keep an equilibrium in the practice?
3) Any book recommendation if I want to further my studies of Shamata meditation?

Thank you for the course.

Mohsin J Thank you for your questions.
1) Whenever observation of the breath becomes too self conscious, relax the technique entirely. Quite literally, 'take a break'.
 Sit without doing. 
The point of this style of meditation practice is to alternate between a close observation of the breath, to train our ability to focus on one thing, with total relaxation or 'natural being'. Ideally, with familiarization of the practice, one begins to notice that mind itself can be naturally focused, relaxed, observant and spacious.
Imagine a photo that has yet to come into focus. Meditation highlights the mind in a similar way. Furthermore, once the details become clear, the ability to navigate easily within it, also avails itself.
Mohsin J 2) I recommend doing the meditation in the sequence until you have internalized the fundamentals of the technique. At that point I think it's fine to do whatever video you would like depending on your needs. 
3) My favorite books on shamatha and on the view which forms the basis for this style of meditation are 'The Myth of Freedom' and 'Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism' both by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.  

I hope you find all of this helpful. Let me know if you have any further inquiries.


Mohsin J
Erin Thank you for the detailed reply. I will try to apply your advice. 

David G-
I ordered an audible version of the first book you recommended. I am deeply curious in this technique as it is challenging, but calming, and after both practices, I felt a widening of my awareness. For example,  my neighborhood felt more spacious on a subsequent dog walk. This quickly ended with cars entering the story, but it was a neat perception. I had the same feeling today, sandwiching the meditation between a fast-paced yoga practice.  Can you clarify the ocean breathing. Is the in-breath the current coming back? The wave coming back to shore as the out breath? And the pause is the moment before the current starts back in again? That is effective for me. 

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