Mindfully Catherine: Breathing In The Present Moment

Catherine Sheehan
Online Columnist

Hi everyone! Welcome back to Mindfully Catherine.

In my last post, I talked about how one of the most influential things I learned in Thailand was that living life to the fullest can be done in this moment, by being grounded in the present.

One way I learned this was through attempting to cultivate what Thai people called “chit wan,” or a clear and empty mind. My Buddhism professor explained it as a moment of nirvana in everyday life.

While it may seem more attainable in Thailand when surrounded by waterfalls and fresh tropical fruit, the practice of attaining a clear and empty mind is important anywhere.

I am sure you are well aware how crazy life can be and that we can’t always control it. Thankfully though, we can, for the most part, control what goes on inside us.

It starts with our breath, because it’s how the body communicates with us and how we communicate with the body. We have the ability to increase blood flow to the brain, stimulating and energizing us. We can slow our breath, calming our nerves and relaxing our muscles.

By focusing on our breath, we shift from the automatic “doing” mode to a more conscious “being” mode. We become mindful of everything going on around us. We can choose to respond to a situation rather than react, in a way that makes space for more peace to come into our lives.

A “chit wan” is the gift we receive by being present. Give yourself this gift wherever you are, however you feel… because this moment is your life.

Enjoy it and look out for my next post!



Photos courtesy of Catherine Sheehan.

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