“Pause, breathe, repair the universe – then proceed.”
Let’s do an experiment. Take out your cell phone or other device that has a clock or time-keeping function. Count the number of breaths you take in one minute, breathing at a normal rate. Do not try to alter the way you breathe, just count the number of inhale/exhale cycles.
How did you do?
If you are like most people, you were probably between 15 and 20 cycles.
In his book Breath, James Nestor suggests that we could all benefit greatly if we would reduce our breathing cycle by two-thirds, to around six breaths per minute.
The quick and over simplified reason is to increase the amount of CO2 in each cell, which in turn causes more oxygen from the blood to go to that cell—helping us feel better.
Perhaps this recommendation is one reason why there is such an increase in the number of people embracing mindful breathing as part of their meditation practice.
How would more pausing and mindful breathing help you repair and improve your piece of the universe?
As a simple experiment, try breathing in to the count of five, and out to the count of five for two to three minutes and see how you feel.