I have been a long time lurker of the discussions here.
A little bit about myself:
I am a meditator with a particular interest in using meditation as a life tool for personal and spiritual development.
I have a medical background with interest in meditation and cognitive therapy.
A technique I have found particularly useful in the reduction of anxiety is a meditation technique/mindfulness object of ‘noting gone’. Noting gone is a technique that allows the natural passing away of objects (e.g., breath, sounds, sensations). Satisfaction is found in the process of allowing objects to progress through their natural course. When we do not anticipate the next sensation, emotion, or inhalation but pay attention (non-judgementally) to the present and allow the current sensations to take their natural path (e.g., arise, fall, subside) we cultivate peace and equanimity.
It is often in mediation that when we consciously or subconsciously anticipate the arising of an object (e.g., next inhalation, pain to increase, etc.) we experience stress. This is anticipatory mechanism is a primary source of anxiety.
Instead of focusing attention on the rising of new objects, observe the subsiding experience of objects (e.g., the end of the exhalation, a car passing off into the distance).
Careful observation will reveal that things are changing/ending in every moment. The breath cycle has different stages. The inhalation and exhalation can be subdivided into different stages (e.g., beginning of inhalation, middle of inhalation, end of inhalation, gap, beginning of exhalation, mid exhalation, end exhalation). The breath is constantly changing and adapting in every moment. Each moment is revived from the passing away or succession of a previous moment.
Picture the breath as a sine wave; every moment the progression of the breath is changing.
Food for thought:
– Take some time out of the day to slow down and simply experience
– Instead of anticipating the next moment, observe the experience that is happening ‘right now’
– Note the falling/passing away of thoughts, sounds, sensations, or emotions
– Feel the qualities in each stage of the breath.