A breathing room


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A breathing room

16 April 2017



I was inspired by Thich nHat Hanh’s One Buddha is not enough to set out on a personal mission to marry Traditional Feng Shui and this notion of a zone which is purely dedicated to meditation or just simply breathing.

A breathing room of your own

A breathing roomOne of the things that we need to understand in this journey of life is to let go. To simply be in this moment and no other moment. To be with the process of breathing in and breathing out.

Can you imagine dedicating one room in your home in… your house to simple breathing or to simply breathing?

It is easy to identify this area based on your house’s facing direction.

It is to be used for only breathing or meditation not for planning, doing, acting anything.

How to find your breathing room

Take a plain old compass any simple orienteering compass is suitable – make sure it has not been ‘rectified’ for your local declination.

Stand at the front door or your house / apartment.

Open the door and place your feet up against the inner aspect of the step. You are positioned so that you are the door when it is closed – you are the proxy for the door.

Now take that bearing.

Find out your room

Here is a table to help you determine where that room might be in your house.

Bearing

Breathing room

338 degrees through 22 degrees

East – 67 degrees through 112 degrees

22 degrees through 67 degrees

North west – 292 degrees through 338 degrees

67 degrees through 112 degrees

North – 338 degrees through 22 degrees

112 degrees through 157 degrees

South – 157 degrees through 202 degrees

157 degrees through 202 degrees

South east – 112 degrees through 157 degrees

202 degrees through

246 degrees

West – 246 degrees through 292 degrees

246 degrees through 292 degrees

South West - 202 degrees through 246 degrees

292 degrees through 338 degrees

North East 22 degrees through 67 degrees

Having found the location of the room how should you furnish it.

Furnishing your breathing room

The first thing is – make it simple! It should not be stuffed full of ‘stuff’. You can use a simple elegant, understated spiritual object which should become the focus of the room – the central point for reflection or contemplation.

There should be simple chairs on which you and other members of your family will sit. The seats should be relatively straight backed so that you can maintain an upright posture whilst sitting and breathing.

You can use floor cushions if you prefer but you need to make sure that you are comfortable sitting on the floor – being uncomfortable is not helpful in developing a breathing practice.

You should have a rug for under your feet or your cushion so that your derriere or legs are not on the cold or cool ground. There is a very important reason from Chinese Medicine point of view – simply put – cool or cold takes qi from yang surfaces. We do not want to do this.

If it is part of your spiritual tradition then place a single object which will be the focal point of the room. It should / could be significant for you and your spiritual beliefs. If you are not a Buddhist or do not have resonance with that belief system (some believe Buddhism is a philosophy – I do not make this distinction here) then do not use a photo or object from that tradition. That object should be placed on a platform / table / desk / credenza – it should be above head height when seated.

So we have – a single focal point, seating and floor rug – to this we can add a source of light. This can be a lamp or fragrant candle (s). You can also add incense if that is meaningful for you. It is a good way of timing your sitting period(s). It is an optional extra – not necessary and certainly not essential.

If you need to be reminded of the time you can use some sort of time keeping thing – a clock which is noiseless or something that quietly beeps if you need to keep track of the time – your brain will sort it out pretty quickly though – so be confident that you will spend exactly the right amount of time breathing mindfully or – mindfully breathing.

It does not have to be a room – it can be a zone in a bigger room. If it is a zone then make sure that the person who is ‘breathing’ is supported when they are breathing. This means that televisions, radios, sources of noise / music are not active when someone is breathing. If possible and practical in your living arrangements then make sure that it is a separate room.

If the breathing room is in direct sight of the front or main door then make sure you screen it off with delicate non dominant screening.

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