He holds his mindfulness in front of him. This is the way of speaking. Mindfulness is always mindfulness of something. Whether it is mindfulness of breathing or walking or sitting, the subject of mindfulness and the object of mindfulness are always together. Holding our mindfulness in front of us means to keep our mindfulness always there, always mindful. Releasing all worries' persuit, it means that you don't think any more of your projects, of your business, of what to do next. You release all preoccupations in order to be free for the practice and let go of his anger, pervert, restlessness, regret, doubt. These are five kinds of obstacles, hindrances. And a good practitioner is always able to remove these five elements of the mind.
In fact, our breathing belongs to the category of body, part of the body. There are four foundations of mindfulness. The first is the body（身）, the second is the feelings（受）, the third is mind（心） and the fourth is the object of mind（法）. And the four exercises of mindful breathing, the first four proposed by Buddha focus on the contemplation of the body on the body. And usually we classify six sense organs to the category of body, and our breath belongs to the body.
And this is the first attempt to bring the mind back to the body. The first thing we have to do is to bring the mind back to the body. And the royal entrance is our breathing. That is the main door. That is why we touch our body with the mind. It's like when you enter a house, you use the door. So, the breathing is the door by which you can enter the body. That is why I said that is the "royal path, royal door, royal way" to return to yourself. You have been neglecting yourself. You have abandoned yourself. You have run away from your body. And now is time to go back. And you go back by the way of breathing. And you can go home very quickly, riding on your in-breath. So, breathing in, I know I'm breathing in. During the first two seconds of your breathing in, your mind is already touching your body through your breath. It is a matter of a second, bringing your mind back to your body. Breathing in, I know this is my in-breath. So, the mind touches the body, the mind touches the breath.
Suppose this is my in-breath.The beginning is here and the end is here. And without my mind. My mind is the finger. So, I breathe without my mind. This is not mindful breathing. Now I begin to breathe mindfully. Breathing in, I know I'm breathing in. Mind together with the breath. Mindfulness is mindfulness of breathing. Because mindfulness is always mindfulness of something. The mind does not exist separately. Whether it is with the breath or with something else. Mind can not be mind without subject. This is very important to know and to remember. Consciousness is always consciousness of something. There can not be subject without object. It's like the left and the right, above and below. You can not imagine mind as a separate entity from its subject, from its object. This is impossible. So, mindfulness is the part of the mind. Mindfulness should always be mindfulness of something. If there is mindfulness, and then there is the object of mindfulness at the same time. Mindfulness of drinking, mindfulness of walking, mindfulness of breathing.
We know very well that when our mind is not there with the body, this situation is called the distraction, life is not real. Because we are not exactly there. So, mindful breathing helps you to establish yourself in the here and the now. And that is possible because mind and body join together. And this is done with the mindful breathing. Suddenly, you are there. Suddenly, you are present. Suddenly, you become alive, just thanks to one mindful in-breath. So, this is the miracle already. So, the breath is something like a bridge between the body and the mind. The body is the here (left suspension) and the mind may be there (right suspension), separated. But once the mind touches the breath, breathing in, I know I'm breathing in, body and mind come together. And with the one in-breath, you can realize the fruit called the oneness of body and mind. Just a few seconds help you to realize the fruit of the practice, oneness of the body and mind. With the oneness of the body and mind, you are established in the here and the now where life is available.
Suddenly, you become alive. Suddenly, you become present. Fully alive, fully present. That depends on the energy of mindfulness in you. If the energy of mindfulness is solid and strong, you become very alive and very present. And you are in a situation to be in touch with life inside and around you, in touch deeply. And the energy of mindfulness has been generated and you are inhabited by the energy of mindfulness. And you are very close to being the Buddha because the Buddha is always inhabited by the energy of mindfulness, concentration and insight. And we know that the energy of mindfulness carry within itself the energy of concentration and insight.
Thich Nhat Hanh