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.
PeterB
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Re: Breath

Postby PeterB » Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:42 am

If anyone does, will it really help Collective, or might it send you into another struggle ?
If every time we plant seeds we dig them up to see how they are doing, or tug the little shoots to make them grow, or decide to plant something else in the same plot, we wont have much of a garden.

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Collective
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Re: Breath

Postby Collective » Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:39 am


Moggalana
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Re: Breath

Postby Moggalana » Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:46 pm

Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.

Kenshou
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Re: Breath

Postby Kenshou » Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:20 pm

Perhaps Collective is the sort of person who, in the old days, would be recommended to start out with kasina practice.

Edit: There's a short bit from Focused & Fearless which I think might be relevant:

"The first formal instruction I received for jhana practice surprised me. My teacher told me to meditate in any way that supported the development of three qualities: mental brightness, spaciousness, and relaxation. I had expected the early instructions to emphasize vigorous focus on a narrow object. It soon became clear, however, that demanding effort can create tension; in the wake of tension, aversion and the hindrances thrive. Conversely, a mind that is relaxed, bright, and spacious contributes to mental and physical ease and encourages a natural release into present-moment experience."

Why not try that out? Also, I believe Ajahn Brahm's view is that it isn't terribly important exactly where the breath is watched, so you would probably do no harm just trying to calmly watch the entire breathing process and not get too worked up over any one particular thing. I wouldn't be surprised if doing just these things would be enough to make some steps toward samadhi. There's more than one way of going about things.

Moggalana
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Re: Breath

Postby Moggalana » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:35 pm

Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.

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Collective
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Re: Breath

Postby Collective » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:58 pm

Now that is what I wanted to hear.

This is what I was trying to explain earlier, that I just watch the whole breath, the very act of experiencing the whole breath. I don't know, call it body breathing :) It isn't at the abdomen, the nose, or even the chest, yet it's all those but none in particular.

This what I do, and, more importantly, I can always locate it. :namaste:

Kenshou
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Re: Breath

Postby Kenshou » Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:32 pm

That sounds like just the ticket, then.

I don't believe that what the object is is so important (at least for samatha), it's just that it's needed as something for the mind to cohere to, so that it can withdraw* from outside preoccupations, calm the wandering of thoughts, and dive into the experience of the present. And the breath happens to both be convenient, and intimately connected to us, so it's a good object, for those who are comfortable using it.

Look at the classic 1st jhana description, There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal*, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation (upon the object used to settle the mind and enter the state)

So if you have an object, whatever it is, that you can find easily, can concentrate the mind upon without tension, and is conductive to relaxation, then I would say that you've probably got the basic toolkit necessary to make progress. Now you have to go play with it!

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Collective
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Re: Breath

Postby Collective » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:34 am

And I guess the beauty of all this, is when you come off the cushion, there's a billion things you can choose to focus on throughout the day.

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Collective
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Re: Breath

Postby Collective » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:34 am

Is it important to actually feel sensation in my nostrils? Or can I just focus my attention on the nostrils and know for a surety that the breath passes through them?

Reductor
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Re: Breath

Postby Reductor » Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:07 am


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Collective
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Re: Breath

Postby Collective » Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:34 am


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catmoon
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Re: Breath

Postby catmoon » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:53 pm

Hiya collective


If you have anxiety in meditation, look at your motivation. You have mentioned relaxation, focus, insight .. basically everything but bodhicitta.

Ask yourself "Why am I doing these meditations?"

You need to recover the ultimate aim. Then things will go better.

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Collective
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Re: Breath

Postby Collective » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:18 pm


Virgo
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Re: Breath

Postby Virgo » Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:12 pm



Kenshou
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Re: Breath

Postby Kenshou » Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:35 pm

Having a mindstate conductive to the development of meditation (or rather, success in meditation) requires adequate morality, and practice. If you want to talk about the ten perfections, they'll be developed naturally in following the eightfold path. How is that developed? Practice. Learning to keep the mind centered upon the breath when it becomes more subtle strikes me as more of an issue of practice-makes-perfect rather than insufficient paramis. One probably must already have a level of development in the perfections to take any interest in the dhamma in the first place, but in the bizarre situation where someone had a high development of paramis but very little skill in meditation, I bet they'd need some time to practice, too.

Telling someone to develop the perfections seems tantamount to telling someone to "get more enlightened". Of course that's what we're all trying to do, but that's just too vague to be useful.

Virgo
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Re: Breath

Postby Virgo » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:17 pm



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catmoon
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Re: Breath

Postby catmoon » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:27 am


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retrofuturist
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Re: Breath

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:13 am

"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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Collective
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Re: Breath

Postby Collective » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:41 am

I like the idea of following the 8 fold path to enhance a calm mind. Generosity, Patience, Forgiveness etc. Focusing on these virtues means less attention to negative thoughts/feelings, which in turn settles us down because it is "not pushed and pulled with attachment and aversion so much".

Thanks for that :namaste:

Virgo
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Re: Breath

Postby Virgo » Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:55 pm




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