Balance of breath vs bare awareness in 1month retreat

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

Balance of breath vs bare awareness in 1month retreat

Postby nomorecurries » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:38 am

Hi All

Am doing a one month self retreat in November (focus on breath and bare awareness). At home I also do focusing on the breath and when feel I can (am still enough) open it up to bare awareness (I do bare awareness as much as possible but this tends to be less than 50% of the time).

However, when I do a one month retreat obviously the ability to focus on bare awareness may well improve. My question is:

Has anyone got any tips on balance of focus between breathing / bare awareness based on their experience of a relatively long retreat? i.e. how concentrated to try and become and whether this is best built up by just breath for a period of time or mixture of breath / bare awareness. Some methods seem to use the breath for a very long time to me (not sure how useful this is or not)

Thanks

Robin

By the way, I will also be mixing sitting with walking in equal amounts
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Re: Balance of breath vs bare awareness in 1month retreat

Postby James the Giant » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:33 pm

Samatha until you are established in Access Concentration, then switch to bare awareness. Back to samatha whenever you drop out of access concentration.
No time limit or setting up a plan to switch to bare awareness after 10 days.

Bare awareness is way hard! Is that your preferred method of Insight/Vipassana mmeditation? Yowie zowie :bow:
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: Balance of breath vs bare awareness in 1month retreat

Postby lyallben » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:36 am

hello,
Larry Rosenberg teaches breathing meditation and then bare awareness or vipassana.
There are many of his talks on Dharma Seed.
Best wishes
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Re: Balance of breath vs bare awareness in 1month retreat

Postby daverupa » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:08 am

nomorecurries wrote:Has anyone got any tips on balance of focus between breathing / bare awareness based on their experience of a relatively long retreat?


In my experience, the balance is struck my employing that bhavana which covers both samatha and vipassana development in one continuous practice. In this respect, anapanasati is outstanding.

If anapanasati looks like pure samatha without vipassana, then it isn't understood, I think. It means that there isn't any feeling of 'switching gears', because the one gear is driving both tires.

:heart:
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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