Meditation on Breath

“It is extraordinary to see the sea; what a spectacle! She is so unfettered that one wonders whether it is possible that she again become calm.”

Claude Monet
An impressionistic painting depicts a cloudy sky and rolling waves crashing on a beach. A dark sailboat rides the waves in the distance.
Claude Monet, The Sea at Le Havre, 1868, Carnegie Museum of Art

Catch your breath with this guided meditation on breathing inspired by Monet’s The Sea at Le Havre.

Step-by-Step Meditation

Listen to Meditation on Breath:


  1. Take some time to look at this painting of the sea.
  2. Notice how Monet depicts the movement of the unfettered waves through the strokes of paint.
  3. Imagine how it would feel to be in this place. What would the air feel like? What would the waves sound like?
  4. Now, close your eyes. Find calmness within yourself by bringing your awareness to your breath.
  5. Visualize the breath as the sea, with each inhale and exhale like the ebb and flow of the ocean water. Notice how some breaths are naturally longer or shorter than others, like different-sized waves in the sea.
  6. If it feels ok, breath through your nose. Next, slightly restrict the back of your throat as you breath. This will create a slightly audible breath, similar to the sound of the ocean.
  7. Continue to focus your attention on the sound and sensation of your breath to calm the mind.

This work is on view in Scaife Gallery 8


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