"Breath awareness is one method that can help you develop full attention to otherwise easily overlooked moments of daily life. Using this practice throughout the day transforms many small and simple activities into meaningful chances to develop a mind that is focused, calm, and alert. Perhaps you stop at a red light — for about ten or fifteen seconds, instead of turning on the radio, just feel the breath as you sit there. When you go into a restaurant, just before you start to eat, simply notice the food on your plate. Look at your sandwich, tune in to your breathing, and see that you can be aware of your breathing and the sandwich, as you pick it up and bring it to your mouth.

"Feel the breath as you wait for an elevator. Sit in a public park and accompanied by mindful breathing attend to some aspect of nature. In a doctor's office, rather than pick up a magazine or send an e-mail, stay with the breath as you wait for your appointment. Remember, patience is a parami, one of the ten virtues in Buddhist teachings. Become a patient patient, using the breath to calm the anxiety of waiting or to directly see your own impatience.

"Recently, I heard from a yogi who used the practice of breath awareness during a morning of potential jury duty. For several hours, she was ushered from room to room in a grim courthouse. In her mind, what stretched ahead was dullness, physical discomfort on old wooden seats, and cursory magazine reading. But the entire scenario changed when she realized that she had been presented with a perfect morning to practice. This transformed her experience. She remained calm and alert throughout the process, sitting in the courthouse, using the breath as an anchor. In the end, she was not chosen to serve on the jury. But while others around her struggled with restlessness and boredom, she gained a priceless insight."