A few Anapanasati questions

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

A few Anapanasati questions

Postby blo0mz » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:02 am

Hello,

I'm sorry if this would be more suited for the Introduction To Theravada subforum.

Anyway...

I'm a relative beginner. I've been practicing Anapanasati for a few months, and I try to attend a meditation with a Sri Lankan bhikku once a week (metta + anapanasati). Often, while meditating, I seem to be unable to tell whether or not I'm thinking. The space seems to be empty, but I feel like there is more going on than I am aware of. Sorry, it's hard to describe... does anybody know what I'm talking about?

Also, I find it very difficult to breathe unintentionally. I begin to worry if I'm suppressing the breath intentionally, etc

Thanks
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Re: A few Anapanasati questions

Postby Ben » Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:29 am

blo0mz wrote:Hello,

I'm sorry if this would be more suited for the Introduction To Theravada subforum.

Anyway...

I'm a relative beginner. I've been practicing Anapanasati for a few months, and I try to attend a meditation with a Sri Lankan bhikku once a week (metta + anapanasati). Often, while meditating, I seem to be unable to tell whether or not I'm thinking. The space seems to be empty, but I feel like there is more going on than I am aware of. Sorry, it's hard to describe... does anybody know what I'm talking about?

Also, I find it very difficult to breathe unintentionally. I begin to worry if I'm suppressing the breath intentionally, etc

Thanks


The important thing is to try and not breath intentionally. It may be difficult at first but as you continue, you should relax. As far as not telling what you are thinking - its just an artefact of practice. Its nothing to be concerned about but do ensure that you are maintaining awareness of the object of meditation and to consistently apply the instructions you have been given.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: A few Anapanasati questions

Postby Sekha » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:35 pm

I don't think we should do any effort to try not to control the breath, because then we try to control the absence of control on the breath... just creating more knots. The only thing we have to do is to check that we are not making a particular effort to control the breath. Controlling the breath is imo also an artifact just like wandering thoughts that will naturally disappear without specific effort to achieve this aim.
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Re: A few Anapanasati questions

Postby RatherSkeptic » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:26 am

I agree with these answers, blo0ms.

If you try to control the breath, you will put even more hard work on your practice then you already have. Meditation itself is hard work where you'll be busy enough to force your mind to the object of meditation (like the breath) again and again, until you attain some access concentration. That forcing is also simply called "concentration" (or samadhi), and it is already hard enough. So don't carry such an additional burden!
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Re: A few Anapanasati questions

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:50 pm

blo0mz wrote:The space seems to be empty, but I feel like there is more going on than I am aware of. Sorry, it's hard to describe... does anybody know what I'm talking about?
Also, I find it very difficult to breathe unintentionally. I begin to worry if I'm suppressing the breath intentionally, etc


As the mind begins to calm one becomes more aware of stuff that is usually "below the surface" - this is quite normal. Just be aware of this and return to the breathing process.
Well, oi dunno...
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