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Should I follow my breath? - Dhamma Wheel

Should I follow my breath?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
pescador
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Should I follow my breath?

Postby pescador » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:22 pm

Should I follow my breath inside and outside, or keep my attention on the tip of the nose watching the breath in and out?

I think I read some weeks ago a commentary dedicated to this but I forgot, sorry.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Should I follow my breath?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:29 pm

Greetings pescador,

Assuming you're doing anapanasati meditation, you may start with a wider range of focus, and then as your attention becomes more focused, narrow that range. As far as I'm aware though, there are no instructions within the suttas themselves giving a precise narrow location for where along the path of the breath one's attention should be focused.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Ben
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Re: Should I follow my breath?

Postby Ben » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:30 pm

Hi Pescador
Well, I think it depends on what your intention is, what it is you are attempting to achieve. First of all, I recommend going back and trying to find the commentary and re-reading it and seeing whether it makes sense.
Usually, I would recommend that a practitioner to either maintain awareness of the touch of the breath for longer and longer periods around the area around the nostril to develop samadhi (this is the samatha variant of anapanasati), or to observe the rise-and-fall of sensations either at the point of contact of breath and skin, or some other place such as the abdomen (vipassana variant of anapanasati).
metta

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Cittasanto
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Re: Should I follow my breath?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:45 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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withoutcolour
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Re: Should I follow my breath?

Postby withoutcolour » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:45 am

I don't know if this helps, but when I do anapanasati meditation I tend to follow my chest expanding (and feeling the breath enter my lungs), and I also focus on my stomach muscles contracting and expanding. With each in breath (into my lungs), I acknowledge it as an in-breath, and when I breathe out (and feel my muscles push the air out), I acknowledge that as well.
Also, I know this is sort of an obscure reference, but I found that when Noah Levine (author of Dharma punx, the American fellow who is a follower of Jack Kornfield, http://www.dharmapunx.com/htm/mp3.htm) described "soft-belly" meditation in his dharma talks, that made it a lot easier for me to figure anapanasati out and be able to meditate much longer than I used to because I have stuff to focus on rather than go "shut up mind!".

best of luck! :buddha1:
-wc
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ
sabbe sattā sukhita hontu

Kenshou
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Re: Should I follow my breath?

Postby Kenshou » Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:17 am


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Ben
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Re: Should I follow my breath?

Postby Ben » Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:42 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Cittasanto
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Re: Should I follow my breath?

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:41 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

pescador
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:42 pm

Re: Should I follow my breath?

Postby pescador » Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:26 am


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acinteyyo
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Re: Should I follow my breath?

Postby acinteyyo » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:24 pm

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.


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