How to properly focus on breath?


I’ve been using muse daily for almost 2 months now but can’t seem to get to a consistent trend in improving my calmness. Whenever I try to focus on my breath, the sensors report that my brain is active. Any advice on a meditation technique or mindset that works for you guys?


4 things :

  • Patience
  • respect your body (by sleeping enough for example) but don’t be obsessed by that
  • virtue (for example if you don’t do what you are supposed to do, you can’t reach any state of calm)
  • at first start your meditation by feeling the points of contact of your breath (nostril is easy to feel) then follow your breathe in the beginning, the middle and the end.

[B][B]Rome wasn’t built in a day.[/B][/B]


Info that helped me when I was starting out:

  • It is the -sensation- of the breath you are after, not thoughts about the breath, nor trying to focus on breathing in a specific manner. Your attention should rest lightly, gently, and with as much interest as you can summon, on the sensation of the breath. As soon as you notice your attention switching to something else, very gently bring it back to the physical sensation of the breath. Repeat. (And if you are anything like me, you will need to repeat this innumerable times - but it is not cause for despair in any way, as it is that very moment of noticing that is the mindfulness you are trying to cultivate). What Muse does here, is to indicate with the winds when your attention wanders. When meditating without an aid like the Muse, it is your own faculty of discerning where your mind is that is honed. Muse is great to help out, I found it improved my regular meditations, but in the end, you want your own awareness to notice the subtleties, rather than a device.

  • The nostril is a great place to focus on the breath. If that works, by all means stick with it - tried and tested method. However, if you find yourself easily stressed, or want a more obvious physical sensation it can be more useful to place your attention on the rising and falling motion of the belly. If this motion is difficult to feel naturally, you can start your training by placing your hands there, and follow along with the rising and falling motion. Once you are aware of how it feels, you will be able to remove the hands.

A technical point:

  • The nature of the calibration is important for meditating with Muse. If the calibration is very calm and you do not put some serious mental effort into the brainstorming exercise, there may be too little contrast between the calibration and the session itself, making it more difficult to get a decent calm score.

If you do breath counting, try to let the mental note of the number be in the same location of your awareness as your attention is, that is if your attention is at the nose, let the number arise in the same space as the attention faculty and the nose, rather than in another part of the brain or body. This is abstract and may not be easily understood at first, but hopefully after you have some more experience it will become clear to you what is meant by that.