Category: The Breathing Space

The Breathing Space with Jon Kabat-Zinn


In Step 1 of “The Breathing Space”, becoming aware of the present moment in its fullness.

By deliberately adopting an erect and dignified posture.


Whether sitting or standing.

Allowing your eyes to close if that is possible or appropriate at this moment.

Otherwise, keeping them open.


And in either case, resting in an  awareness of your experience.



Opening to it and asking “What is my experience, right now”

“What thoughts are going through the mind.

As best as you can, noting thoughts as mental events.

Perhaps even becoming aware of their contents in words.



“What feelings are here?

Turning towards an opening towards any discomfort or unpleasant feelings.



“What body sensations are here right now??”

Perhaps quickly scanning  the body to pick up any sensations or tightness

or bracing.



Now in “Step 2”, gathering and redirecting  your attention to focus on the physical sensations of the breath.

Just breathing itself.



Moving in close to the sense of the breath in the belly.

Feeling the sensations in the abdominal wall.



As it expands with each in-breath and falls back with each out-breath.



With full awareness  — following the breath, all the way in,  and all the way out.

Using the breathing itself to anchor yourself into the present moment.


And now in “Step 3”, expanding the field of awareness around your breathing so that in addition to the sensations of the breath it includes the body as a whole.

Your posture, and your facial expressions.

How they feel from the inside.


if you become aware of any sensations of discomfort, tension, or resistance, experimenting gently with breathing into them on the in-breath, and breathing out from them on the out-breath.



Perhaps feeling a softening and releasing with each out-breath.

If you care to, perhaps saying to yourself on the out-breath, “it’s already here. whatever it is, it’s already here. let me feel it.”


And now, as best you can, bringing this expanded, more spacious and accepting awareness to the next moments of your day.

Whatever circumstances you find yourself in.

As it continues to unfold.