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Dhamma Wheel • View topic - Mindfulness Meditation Newbie needs help

Mindfulness Meditation Newbie needs help

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Mindfulness Meditation Newbie needs help

Postby Delvin » Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:40 am

Hi all

I have some questions regarding mindfulness meditation in general as a means of relaxation, I am a person with high levels of anxiety and while I am not expecting mindfulness meditation to be a 100% complete solution to this, I would like to at least attempt it in the hope that it can be beneficial to me. Actually, I have already started giving it a go, but I have a few questions.

Everywhere I read it seems to be that a sitting posture is necessary? Is this the case? sometimes it feels more comfortable if I just lie down and try and focus on my breath, which brings me to my next point...

I am performing breathing in and out from my nose and i've read i should concentrate on the sensation as the air flows in and out of the nose, however its very hard to capture this as I dont force my breath and its very soft. Also on this, I've read to focus on the belly going up and down as well as the chest going up and down, but then arent we focusing on too many things at once?? Also would it be possible to just focus on my belly or chest going up and down rather than on the breath coming in and out of the nose?

As you can see these are all little things, but I just want some advice on how to approach this. Last time I was doing my meditation I wasn't really sure what to do so I just kept my focus on the breath coming in and out of the nose, and when the other questions arose( in regards to the best way to perform the meditation) i just simply observed them... but with that being said I would appreciate what everyone else thinks as the questions keep arising.
:juggling:
Thank you
Delvin
 
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Re: Mindfulness Meditation Newbie needs help

Postby Ben » Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:12 am

Greetings Devlin

It would be good to know exactly the origin of where you have been getting your information. Knowing the origin of the information our members may be able to give you more specific advice. Some secular mindfulness practices are based on Theravadin meditation to varying degrees.

I think also you are confusing two different approaches to anapana-sati (awareness of inbreath and outbreath). Focusing on the touch sensation of the breath around the area of the nose-mouth is one and the other is to observe the movement of the abdomen. Combining them may not be advantageous.

Most meditation teachers will tell you that its not important whether you sit cross-legged or on a chair.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Mindfulness Meditation Newbie needs help

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:44 pm

Delvin wrote:Everywhere I read it seems to be that a sitting posture is necessary? Is this the case? sometimes it feels more comfortable if I just lie down and try and focus on my breath, which brings me to my next point...

There are four postures that can be used, Standing, sitting walking and lying down, although the sitting posture is often the most used and recommended each posture has its own nuances which can be very interesting.
There are also a variety of sitting postures one can use a seat, bench or a cushion, although everyone has a preference, and the statues of teachers & Buddhas often use a cross legged posture that doesn't mean anyone else is sitting wrongly.

I am performing breathing in and out from my nose and i've read i should concentrate on the sensation as the air flows in and out of the nose, however its very hard to capture this as I dont force my breath and its very soft. Also on this, I've read to focus on the belly going up and down as well as the chest going up and down, but then arent we focusing on too many things at once?? Also would it be possible to just focus on my belly or chest going up and down rather than on the breath coming in and out of the nose?

I have not read or been told to focus on both at the same time although I have tried this, and found it quite difficult to stay focused in the same way when only using one area of focus, normally it is recommended to pick one area nose, chest, stomach or wherever the breath can most easily be noticed at the start of the sitting, and keep to that area for the whole sitting as much as possible.
The use of any area is not exactly focusing on the air, as air is an external invisible element which can be noticed due to the effect, such as the sensation at the nose, the movement of the belly or chest, it is mindfulness of breathing not mindfulness of the movement of the air. mindfulness of breathing is a fabricated thing made up of several different objects which can be used as a focal point for meditation.

As you can see these are all little things, but I just want some advice on how to approach this. Last time I was doing my meditation I wasn't really sure what to do so I just kept my focus on the breath coming in and out of the nose, and when the other questions arose( in regards to the best way to perform the meditation) i just simply observed them... but with that being said I would appreciate what everyone else thinks as the questions keep arising.
:juggling:
Thank you

If you are comfortable with how you are practicing at the moment great! why change a good thing?
Doubts are a hindrance and should be worked with, I believe the type of doubt you are experiancing is quite normal, and benefiscial as you learn other techneques to use when the main techneque is difficult for what ever reason, but doubt is as I mentioned a hindrance and a fetter it stops progress due to the very thing which I believe to be benefiscial (up to a certain point) so certainly experimentation is a good thing but learn when the doubt and subsequent experimentation is not useful, by sticking to one techneque dogmatically. this will help you in the long run to discern what it is that is needed.

Good Luck and all the best
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