A meditation for releasing strong emotions


Settle into your seat. If you’re sitting on a chair, place your feet flat on the floor very gently but firmly. If you’re sitting on a cushion or the earth, settle in and wiggle around until you find that very comfortable, almost weightless position. Allow your shoulders to shrug around a little to loosen up your spine and then find stillness in the body.

Bring your attention to your breath. Notice your breath as a cycle. A circle of in and out, in and out without pause. Without changing your breath in any particular way, simply follow the breath as a circle. You may feel it moving lower to higher or left to right. Allow your breathing to be easy. Allow your inhale to flow gently and directly into your exhale without a stutter, without holding the breath.

Let your breath flow from the inhale directly to the exhale and from the exhale directly to the inhale.

As you follow your breath with your mind, start to imagine the breath as a circle. It might be like a hula-hoop or a sphere. Whatever image comes to mind, allow it and notice if there are any areas of the breath that feel a little stuck or sticky or a little rough.

As your mind follows the breath. You might imagine it like an iron gently smoothing out any areas of roughness. No need to use a lot of pressure, a very light touch will do here.

Smoothing out the breath from the exhale, to the inhale, to the exhale without pause, notice if one side of your breath feels like it’s rushing. Can you balance out your circle so that your breath becomes completely centered, so that it feels easy?

As you follow the cycle and circle of your breath, you may notice a color. The color might change as you inhale and exhale. It may shift a lot. It may shift a little. It may become clear in parts as you breathe for longer and longer. Or it may intensify as emotions come up and you breathe them out.

As your mind follows your breath, allow any thoughts that come up to be breathed out. If emotions arise, notice how the color or the texture of your breath might change while you’re feeling that emotion, and then again, like the thoughts, breathe them out.

Follow the circle and cycle of your breath. Whether it’s a hula-hoop or a sphere. Notice if the color has shifted now that you’ve been breathing for several moments. Notice if it’s gotten easier. Be curious about the difference without needing to change anything intentionally.

Can you allow your breath to be truly easy and round, smooth and even, soft and easy and warm? Remember that we always have our breath with us, whether we notice it or not.

I invite you to take a few more inhale and exhale cycles at your own pace. When you feel complete, take your own time. Then gently open your eyes and sit quietly for a few moments.



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