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Songs / The 16 Exercises of Mindful Breathing

The 16 Exercises of Mindful Breathing are at the heart of the teachings offered by Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village community. They have now been offered in the form of a song by the Plum Village monastic sisters.

Mindfulness of breathing is the great vehicle used by the Buddhas to save beings who are drifting and sinking in the ocean of suffering.

Master Tang Hoi

This quote comes from the preface to the Chinese translation of the sutra “Discourse on the Full Awareness of Breathing”, an ancient text dating from the third century C.E., written by the father of Vietnamese Zen Buddhism, Master Tang Hoi. In our own time, mindfulness of breathing is becoming more and more widely embraced and practiced. It is not a Buddhist practice alone. It is accessible and of benefit to practitioners of any spiritual path or those who do not identify with any formal or established spiritual path.

The 16 Exercises of Mindful Breathing is now composed into music by Plum Village sisters with beautiful “The Metta Meditation”.  

Words from the sutra “Discourse on the Full Awareness of Breathing” (Anapanasati Sutta, MN 118,)
Music by Sr. Trang Hieu Duc
Performed by Plum Village sisters

Metta Meditation
by Plum Village sisters

May I be aware of my breath at all times
May my body be peaceful and relaxed
May my steps be gentle and at ease
and my eyes be compassionate
As an offering to myself, my parents and my loved ones.

May my feelings be peaceful and calm
May my heart and mind be fresh, light and in harmony
May joy and happiness be cultivated
As an offering to myself, to my teacher and friends
and to all creatures supporting my life.

May my mind be quiet, awake and clear
May my mind always be directed to wholesome ways
May I maintain my concentration on the beauties of life, to see the wisdom of life
As an offering to myself, to every wish of the people and to the callings of the world.

With lightness, may I always be aware of the impermanence of all that is
May I be free from craving and aversion
May I dwell in equanimity and love
May mother earth be at peace and continue to offer her love and beauty, to forgive and embrace.
As an offering to myself, to the land of the Three Jewels and to the entire cosmos.

You can enjoy more Plum Village songs here.

Read more about the 16 Exercises of Mindful Breathing

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What is Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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