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The Breath from Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth

..Being aware of your breathing takes attention away from thinking and creates space.  It is one way of generating consciousness.  Although the fullness of consciousness is already there as the unmanifested, we are here to bring consciousness into this dimension.

Be aware of your breathing. Notice the sensation of the breath.  Feel the air moving in and out of your body. Notice how the chest and abdomen expand and contract slightly with the in- and out breath.  One conscious breath is enough to make some space where before there was the uninterrupted succession of one thought after another.  One conscious breath (two or three would be even better), taken many times a day, is an excellent way of bringing space into your life.  Even if you meditated on your breathing for two hours or more, which some people do, one breath is all you ever need to be aware of.  The rest is memory or anticipation, which is to say, thought.  Breathing isnt really something you do but something that you witness as it happens.  Breathing happens by itself.  The intelligence within the body is doing it.  All you have to do is watch it happening.  There is no strain or effort involved...

...Many people's breath is unnaturally shallow.  The more you are aware of the breath, the more its natural depth will reestablish itself.

Because breath has no form as such, it has since ancient times been equated with spirit- the formless one Life.  "God formed man out of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living creature"  The German word for breathing-atmen-is derived from the ancient Indian (Sanskrit) word Atman meaning the indwelling divine spirit or God within.

The fact that breath has no form is one of the reasons why breath awareness is an extremely effective way of bringing space into your life, of generating consciousness....

...Being aware of your breath forces you into the present moment-the key to all inner transformation. Whenever you are conscious of the breat, you are absolutely present.  You may also notice that you cannot think and be aware of your breathing.  Conscious breathing stops your mind.  But far from being in a trance or half asleep, you are fully awake and highly alert.  You are not falling below thinking, but rising above it.  And if you look more closely, you will find that those two things- coming fully into the present moment and ceasing thinking without loss of consciousness- are actually one and the same: the arising of space consciousness.

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