how to stop controlling breath

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how to stop controlling breath

Postby effort » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:27 am

hi,
i know i asked this before but "HOW CAN I STOP CHANGING MY BREATH" :tantrum:

i tightening my abdomen when i observe breathing and it cause pain beneath my sternum, this happen each time i want to observe falling and rising of abdomen. even when i want to breath relax it results in pain because i can not free the muscle under sternum.

i feel like during daily life i breath so subtle and as i look at it i change it.

is there any technique to stop changing the breathe?

one way is to lie down, then there is no pain but there is tendency to sleep.
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Re: how to stop controlling breath

Postby Annapurna » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:44 am

Effort,

From a distance, all we can do here is speculate about the reasons, but if you wish to share your heart, please do so, in a friendly and compassionate environment.

You should have phsical reasons excluded, so try and speak to a physician about this, if your means allow it. Do you have an insurance?

You could be suffering from anxiety etc, which causes you to cramp up.

You could investigate what is stressful in your life and talk to somebody how to solve those issues.

Last but not least, your diet could be lacking, for instance in magnesia or calcium, and eating right or supplementing could help.

Best wishes,

Annapurna
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Re: how to stop controlling breath

Postby zavk » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:47 am

Hi effort

Annabel has given good advice. It is first important to make sure that it is not a heath condition. Leaving that aside, I'd say that it is possible that the tension in your abdomen has been there along. Perhaps it is a tension that you have been carrying with you all this while and you are only just becoming aware of it because of growing mindfulness. This is just a possibility.... I say this because I've experienced the same when I first started meditating. I was surprised at how much tension there was in my abdomen--tension which has built up because of the negative tendencies (worry, anger, fear, etc) which I've been carrying with me.

If this is the case, I suppose it is best to alternate sitting with walking and metta meditation. It is good that you are becoming aware of this tension because recognition is the first step towards letting go of it. That's how it has been for me anyway. I found that developing an attitude of acceptance and kindness and care towards the knot of pain allowed it to untie itself.

All the best.
With metta,
zavk
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Re: how to stop controlling breath

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:16 am

Hi Effort,

This can be tricky. Don't worry too much, or you'll just make it worse...

Two strategies. The first from one of my teachers, the second I thought up myself (though it's rather obvious...).

1. After settling down try taking a deliberate breath or two, a little deeper than usual, so that you can see clearly what it feels like to be deliberately controlling the breath. After the last deliberate inbreath, try to relax and let the body just breath out by itself, then watch for the next rising of the abdomen.

2. Don't go straight for looking for the rising and falling of the abdomen. Start by doing a body scan, looking at sensations from the head down to the feet, then from the feet back up to the head. Perhaps then narrow down to scanning up and down the body or just focussing on whatever is most obvious in the abdomen, chest, or back. With luck you will start seeing that one of the most obvious things that is happening in the body is the rising and falling of the abdomen.

As Zavk says, doing some walking is useful. Not just to calm down, but because walking is an ideal place to notice intention. Try to clearly see the intention to lift the foot, and so on. If you can't see it, try not walking, or try stopping in mid-step, and it will soon become very clear! Once you can see intention clearly it will be more obvious where the controlling of the breathing is coming from.

Mike
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Re: how to stop controlling breath

Postby effort » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:29 am

thanks,

i dont think it would be a physical problem, but maybe i need to care more about calcium , anna , in the other hand most of the times i'm suffer from anxiety, doing metta regularly is as hard as this issue, zavk.

the point about intention in walking was great mike , thanks, yes i do scan body as situation gets worse then get back.

i think this simple problems would takes long time to resolve, and i think the only way that i can confront it is to face it and so feel pain....one problem is that there is no long and relax sessions with this way...

after morning sitting the tension is still there and i can not get rid of it...
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Re: how to stop controlling breath

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:18 am

great question!

when you notice that you are controlling, this noticing would be an aspect of mindfulness btw so it means youre paying attention, then, maybe, noting or labeling might help? try and see if it works.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: how to stop controlling breath

Postby Annapurna » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:08 am

effort wrote:thanks,

i dont think it would be a physical problem, but maybe i need to care more about calcium , anna , in the other hand most of the times i'm suffer from anxiety


If you don't think it is physical, it means, that you don't know.

Step one is therefore to exclude it, no matter how convinced you are that it is not.

It could be gastritis, pancreas problems, an ulcer, and what not, and the body tends to cramp around abnormal areas, you see?

So if money isn't keeping you from getting hat check up, I would do it.

Then, if everything is alright, you know it is mental or emotional.

Pain without organic abnormalities is usually an imbalance in the functions.

It can be because of too much stress, too much effort, and so forth.

My father was a internal specialist, as you may know, and he used to say when I was beside myself:

"Stop watching yourself, do some work and concentrate on doing it properly, or relax and think of something nice and joyful. "

This has worked for me many, many times.

Pain is a warning signal that something is wrong.

It warns us to continue with whatever it was that we did while it arose and it is stupid to ignore it.

Usually, everything calms down when we rest.
So, if it arises during meditation, you are doing something wrong and must seek the advice of a teacher.

That is my additional advice, -all else is groping around in the darkness, because we can never guess.

But I have a feeling like you hesitate to or can't seek the advice of a doctor or teacher.

Am I right?

PS: Anxiety affects the muscles and circulation badly.

Try to locate where it comes from, what causes your fear and don't only try to meditate it away, without tackling the reason as well.

Whatever it is, try to find a sangha, besides being embraced by us, :group: but also try to meet people irl. Can you?

People are a comfort, sometimes.

Hugs, :hug:

Anna
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Re: how to stop controlling breath

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:22 pm

stop trying to control it

stop trying not to control it

how about counting it instead?
1 inbreath
1 outbreath
2 next in breath
2 next outbreath
..and so on

try to count to 10 -if your mind wanders you need to start again!

good luck!

:anjali:
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
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Re: how to stop controlling breath

Postby effort » Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:37 pm

Annapurna wrote:So, if it arises during meditation, you are doing something wrong and must seek the advice of a teacher.

That is my additional advice, -all else is groping around in the darkness, because we can never guess.

But I have a feeling like you hesitate to or can't seek the advice of a doctor or teacher.

Am I right?

Hugs, :hug:

Anna


thanks anna, yes you are certainly right about teacher but i dont have problem with doctors.

one time in wat rampeong a teacher told me to "let go of emotions", after that i didnt try to observe the breathe instead!
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Re: how to stop controlling breath

Postby Nyana » Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:41 pm

effort wrote:most of the times i'm suffer from anxiety ... after morning sitting the tension is still there and i can not get rid of it.

Hi effort,

This isn’t an uncommon situation, and can be worked with if you are dedicated to the process (and it seems that you are). The previous replies are all good recommendations. And although nothing can replace working directly with a skillful teacher, I’ll offer what has worked for myself and others who I’ve discussed this with, specifically from the perspective of the contemplation of feelings (vedanānupassanā) and the contemplation of mind (cittānupassanā).

1. Giving thorough attention to the feeling

If a feeling of bodily tension arises in meditation it is very helpful to give it thorough attention (yoniso manasikāra). This involves not only recognizing that it is present, but also examining the underlying conditions and tendencies associated with the tension. The practice here is to see if there is any mental unhappiness (domanassa) present that is associated with this bodily tension. Is there any mental aversion or resistance there? If so, is there any other emotional content there that you may not even be aware of at first? Any “deeper” emotional conditioning?

The underlying emotional content associated with this uncomfortable feeling of tension could be unacknowledged aversion, or anger, or resentment, or sadness, or grief, or loneliness, or a feeling of a lack of fulfillment. Or it could be fear. Or it could be frustration. Whatever it is – and nobody can uncover this but yourself – but whatever it is, it needs to be identified, and then acknowledged with full awareness. This involves sitting with the emotional content and feeling it – allowing it to fully express itself. See if it changes or shifts to reveal even more subtle levels of resistance or sadness or whatever there is that arises.

2. Accepting the feeling with mindfulness and full awareness

Often, when the emotional conditioning associated with the tension is identified and brought fully into conscious awareness, the bodily feeling of tension, as well as the tactile sensation of tightness itself, will naturally begin to dissolve. But for this to occur, there needs to be some acceptance of the emotional content with mindfulness and full awareness (satisampajañña). Just let it express itself and feel it without any added judgment or aversion. If strong aversion remains towards whatever is being felt, then the associated mental conditions haven’t been fully identified and acknowledged.

3. Releasing the feeling

If the feeling has been identified and accepted as it is, yet it still continues, one can begin contemplating the release (paṭinissaggānupassī) of the feeling. It is not yours and you can let go of it. As you breathe mindfully, you can release it moment to moment without judgment.

effort wrote:i think this simple problems would takes long time to resolve, and i think the only way that i can confront it is to face it and so feel pain...

Yes, there is no quick fix. These types of situations usually need to be worked with again and again, using the relevant practices. Eventually, with time and continual practice, it may no longer be an issue.

effort wrote:doing metta regularly is as hard as this issue

Developing kindness and compassion for yourself – for the uncomfortable feeling that is present – is also very helpful. Even if you can only develop a little bit of kindness or compassion at first. With practice this can lead to more expansive kindness and compassion. You can recognize that there are many others who experience all sorts of similar feelings – and in some cases, far more painful feelings. Then you can extend kindness and compassion to them as well.

Best wishes,

Geoff
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Re: how to stop controlling breath

Postby effort » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:16 am

thank you for advice. :anjali:
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Re: how to stop controlling breath

Postby dhamma_spoon » Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:06 pm

Hi to Effort and all active, kind and wise advisers [Zavk, Mikenz66, Jcsuperstar, Rowyourboat, Ñāṇa] --

The Question by Effort :
"i feel like during daily life i breath so subtle and as i look at it i change it. is there any technique to stop changing the breathe? ... one way is to lie down, then there is no pain but there is tendency to sleep."

I think the key ideas are follows.

Zavk suggests using awareness: "becoming aware of this tension because recognition is the first step towards letting go of it" ...
Mikenz66 suggests two cures. 1. Try deliberate breathing that is deeper than normal, then relax and watch the breathing.
2. Try scanning sensation over the body until the rising and falling of the abdomen is found.
Jcsuperstar suggests mindful noticing of the controlling (that has caused the tension/pain problem).
Rowyourboat suggests counting the breath from 1 to 10 (over and over).
Ñāṇa suggests a 3-step procedure: 1. Give a thorough attention (yoniso manasikāra) to the pain so that the true cause of it may be discovered; 2. Once found, accept the cause ("emotional conditioning" of the tension/pain) with mindful awareness; 3. Let go of the cause -- i.e. release the feeling.

I agree that relaxation or releasing of the emotional conditioning of the tension is the right solution. When the troublesome cause is abandoned, then contentment and joy/happiness will arise. So, the pain is gone!

Thank you, everyone.

Tep
-----
A soup spoon does not know the taste of the soup.
A dhamma spoon does not know the taste of the Dhamma!
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