In Plum Village, you are offered gathas (short verses):
in / out
deep / slow
calm / ease
smile / release
present moment / wonderful moment
The most wonderful thing that happens during your practice is the mental discourse is stopped. When you focus your attention on in-breath and out-breath and just pay attention to your in-breath and out-breath, the thinking stops. The mental discourse that has been going on always stops. The state of non-thinking happens. And this is very important.
Our initial thinking and our applied thinking usually take us away from the here and the now. And it is the mental discourse that is always going on in our mind. We are preoccupied by that discourse. And the mental discourse brings about worry, fear, irritation, all kinds of afflictions that prevent the healing of our body and of our mind. And that is why it is very important to stop the mental discourse. Without the practice of mindful breathing, it's difficult to stop the mental discourse.
If the mental discourse is stopped and if you begin to enjoy in-breath and out-breath, your body will restore its capacity of self-healing. And we have to believe in our body. Our body is a nature. It has a capacity of healing by itself.
The animals in the forest, they still have a capacity of resting. Every time the animal gets wounded, the animal knows what to do. It looks for a quiet place. It just lies down. Because the experience of several generations of that species according to it, the only way to heal is to rest, to lie down and rest. And the animals in the forest, they still know that. They have a capacity of resting. Because to allow your body to rest and do not put it under pressure, that is the basic condition of healing.
But we humans, we have lost our capacity of healing. When we get wounded, we get sick, we worry, we go to the doctor, we get a lot of prescriptions and the medicines. But what we need the most, is resting. We don't do it. We can not do it. We don't have a capacity of allowing our mind to rest. We don't have a capacity of allowing our body to rest. That is the basic obstacles of healing of ourselves and of the world. And the practice of mindful breathing can come and rescue us from them. Because when you breathe in and out mindfully, and if you know how to enjoy your in-breath and out-breath, you can stop suppressing, you can stop the turbulence in your mind. You can stop the unrest in your body. You are able to rest and that is the basic conditions of healing.
And that is why all of us, whether we are physicians or nurses or patients, we know the practice of mindful breathing will benefit all of us. Whether you are a healer or a sick person to be healed, you can benefit from the practice of mindful breathing because it can bring calm and it can bring release to the mind and body. If you just allow, authorize your body and your mind to rest, the healing will come by itself. And we get to have confidence in nature, in our body, the capacity of self-healing.
Yesterday I said, "I did not sleep well, very well", but I don't worry. Because if you worry, you prevent the healing. You have to have deep trust in nature, in your body. So, breathing in and breathing out, you express your trust to your body. You don't have to ask some supernatural power very far away to help you. You just express your trust to your body.