In MIDL Mindfulness Training 34/52 you cultivate the skill of using slow, diaphragmatic breathing to borrow the deflation of the out-breath in order to bring about deep physical and mental relaxation as a basis for the MIDL Softening skill. Once this skill of 'abandoning' with the deflation of the out-breath has been developed it can be used in seated meditation for calming the five hindrances to meditation and in daily life as a way of deconditioning harmful habitual patterns of reaction. Submit Your Question
Your Question: I still have some difficulty relaxing the abdomen as the breath goes out and it's drawn up, however. It seems counter - intuitive.
Stephen Procter: The abdomen is not drawn up as the breath goes out. The diaphragm is released and naturally returns back by itself. There should be no drawing up or in of the abdomen with this technique just a gentle raising and lowering.
Your Question: I find breathing with my diaphragm hard to practice, what should I do?
Stephen Procter: MIDL Mindfulness Training 35/52 is based on the foundation of retraining of autonomous diaphragm breathing in MIDL Mindfulness Training 3/52. Without this foundation of retraining diaphragmatic breathing this meditation will not be easy to do. I recommend doing these mindfulness trainings in order, from 1 to 52, as they sequentially build one on top of the other, creating the foundation for the next and refining your skill in meditation.