Anapanasati in non-sitting postures?

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Anapanasati in non-sitting postures?

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:49 pm

Greetings all,

In the suttas, does the Buddha speak of doing anapanasati in postures other than when sitting?

If so, sutta references would be appreciated.

:meditate:

Thanks.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Anapanasati in non-sitting postures?

Postby bodom » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:52 pm

Hey Retro

Interesting question. In my studies Ive never come across any sutta passages in reference to your question. The suttas alway give the same three suitable locations in regards to practicing anapanasati:

"There is the case where a monk, having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore.


Personally I have found it quite useful to turn to the breath no matter where I may be or what im doing whether im working, sitting in the car or standing in line somewhere. Its a good way to stay mindful and focused while going about daily life. Theres several modern day teachers who also point out the usefulness of turning to the breath occasionally during daily activities to stay focused off the cushion

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The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Anapanasati in non-sitting postures?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:49 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings all,

In the suttas, does the Buddha speak of doing anapanasati in postures other than when sitting?

If so, sutta references would be appreciated.

:meditate:

Thanks.

Metta,
Retro. :)

I do not believe it is specific instructions and do not have a referene to hand but...
I think there is a sutta or two which gives the stock passage of the satipatthana sutta of the postures then the anapana intructuon? maybe if you check the notes in my translaion in the postures section I may of referenced it?

I will have a look later on maybe tomorrow at the earliest.
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Re: Anapanasati in non-sitting postures?

Postby sattva » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:19 am

Warning:
Dumb question coming!

When Buddha laid down on his side to die was he doing any special practice at the time? If the anapanasati can only be done sitting, then few people who are weak and dying will be able to do it.
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Re: Anapanasati in non-sitting postures?

Postby acinteyyo » Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:22 am

What about this passage?

"And how is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing developed & pursued so as to bring the four frames of reference to their culmination?
On whatever occasion a monk breathing...
On whatever occasion a monk trains himself, 'I will breathe...

Seems that posture isn't quite important as to bring the four frames of reference to their culmination, doesn't it?

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
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Re: Anapanasati in non-sitting postures?

Postby mirco » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:26 pm

sattva wrote:When Buddha laid down on his side to die was he doing any special practice at the time? If the anapanasati can only be done sitting, then few people who are weak and dying will be able to do it.

Maybe a bit off-topic, but there is/was need to use breath as object of meditation only.
Brahmavihara was/were the recommended object(s) for any posture.
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Re: Anapanasati in non-sitting postures?

Postby daverupa » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:07 pm

acinteyyo wrote:What about this passage?


It's building on the previous portion of the Sutta - "on whatever occasion" follows after having gone to the wilderness, tree, or hut, and having sat down:

"Now how is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing developed & pursued so as to be of great fruit, of great benefit? There is the case where a monk, having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore... And how is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing developed & pursued so as to bring the four frames of reference to their culmination? On whatever occasion a monk [does anapanasati]... on that occasion the monk remains focused..."

Elsewhere and quite commonly, "walking up and down" is described. SN 35.120 is the only place I've seen them juxtaposed:

"And how, friend, is one given to watchfulness? In this a monk walks up and down by day and then sits, thus cleansing his mind from obstructive states. [Similarly for the first watch of the night.] In the middle watch of the night, lying on his right side, he adopts the lion posture, resting one foot on the other, mindful and clearly aware, with his thoughts fixed on rising. In the last watch of the night he rises, walks up and down, and then sits, thus cleansing his mind from obstructive states. That, friend, is how one is given to watchfulness."

IMO, walking up and down strikes me as a different sort of behavior than Anapanasati. I wonder if the Kayagatasati Sutta offered bhavana for the non-seated, the Satipatthana Sutta(s) attempted to sum them both, and the textual tradition ended up fumbling this three-ball juggle through diffusion...
    "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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Re: Anapanasati in non-sitting postures?

Postby contemplans » Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:18 pm

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Re: Anapanasati in non-sitting postures?

Postby ancientbuddhism » Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:59 pm

contemplans wrote:http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an05/an05.029.agku.html


caṅkama is not connected with ānāpāna
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Re: Anapanasati in non-sitting postures?

Postby contemplans » Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:36 pm

ancientbuddhism wrote:caṅkama is not connected with ānāpāna


What I've usually heard is that they are related, but the complete tracking on the in and out is not possible because of the movement, so the focus is more of the presence of the breath in general without attending to the in and out.
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Re: Anapanasati in non-sitting postures?

Postby daverupa » Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:49 pm

contemplans wrote:
ancientbuddhism wrote:caṅkama is not connected with ānāpāna


What I've usually heard is that they are related, but the complete tracking on the in and out is not possible because of the movement, so the focus is more of the presence of the breath in general without attending to the in and out.


With no attending to the in and out, there is simply no anapanasati (what do you think "anapana-" means?).
    "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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Re: Anapanasati in non-sitting postures?

Postby contemplans » Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:19 pm

daverupa wrote:
contemplans wrote:
ancientbuddhism wrote:caṅkama is not connected with ānāpāna


What I've usually heard is that they are related, but the complete tracking on the in and out is not possible because of the movement, so the focus is more of the presence of the breath in general without attending to the in and out.


With no attending to the in and out, there is simply no anapanasati (what do you think "anapana-" means?).


I understand, but what is advised is the breath energy. You start with he in and out with sitting, and then move on from there. Walking won't be much like sitting in this respect, but we can still be with the breath. You can track the in-out a bit, but it's just different. The movement disturbs it, so it is better to just be with the breath as "energy". What else would be the focus?
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Re: Anapanasati in non-sitting postures?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:26 pm

Hi contemplans,

The original question was:
retrofuturist wrote:In the suttas, does the Buddha speak of doing anapanasati in postures other than when sitting?

If so, sutta references would be appreciated.

I don't see any problem with using the breath as an object in an position, and many modern (and probably ancient) teachers recommend maintaining it in all positions (if that's the object you are using...). However, the actual question was whether it was specifically spelled out in the suttas.

:anjali:
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Re: Anapanasati in non-sitting postures?

Postby starter » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:41 pm

Hi, I use mindfulness of breathing as a means for sense restraint in all postures to keep the mind centered inside (on the breath), since I haven't found another more effective way to practice sense restraint during daily work life. To my limited knowledge, the Buddha didn't seem to have taught a detailed method on how to restrain the mind from grasping at the gross sign and fine details/features of six sense objects, which might arouse unskillful qualities such as greed or aversion (please correct me if I'm wrong). He did teach us to focus on the drawbacks of sense objects, which is difficult to remember when busy with tasks at hand. I've found mindfulness of breathing can really calm me down, during conversations for instance.

Metta to all,

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Re: Anapanasati in non-sitting postures?

Postby ancientbuddhism » Sun Feb 12, 2012 12:12 am

The suttas which deal with mindfulness contemplative work are rather specific with the context of contemplative objects. Ānāpānasati always has the specific context to seated meditation, with its aim being unification of the breath with the body where the primary object of the breath is the focal-point for peripheral, expansive awareness which facilitates mental and physical calm. Similarly, the object of the four iriyāpatha is implicit to those activities themselves, with there aim being unification through those objects.

When trying to hold more than one object at the same time i.e. mindfulness of the breath simultaneous with the movement of walking, the awareness will lose the sense of unity and become distracted and restless as awareness will naturally oscillate between the two. This is called holding too many things in the mind which only weakens the contemplative endeavor to release into calmer states where precise examination of states, knowledge and discernment can arise.

Because the suttas are slight on instruction where the four iriyāpatha are concerned, this may be why there are so many variant interpretations by later traditions. These are not necessarily wrong, so long as the goal of contemplative work is not disrupted. I just don’t see why there would be any other object with reference to the four iriyāpatha than mindfulness of that specific posture or action, as the suttas imply.

    Sādhu sādhu ānanda, tena hi tvaṃ ānanda idampi chaṭṭhaṃ anussatiṭṭhānaṃ dhārehi: Idhānanda bhikkhu satova abhikkamati, satova paṭikkamati, satova tiṭṭhati, satova nisīdati, satova seyyaṃ kappeti, satova kammaṃ adhiṭṭhāti. Idaṃ ānanda anussatiṭṭhānaṃ evaṃbhāvitaṃ evaṃ bahulīkataṃ satisampajaññāya saṃvattatīti.'

    “Excellent! Excellent! Ānanda, you should bear these six contemplations also.

    “Ānanda, there is a monk that mindfully walks forward, mindfully walks back, mindfully stands, mindfully sits down, mindfully prepares for sleep, and mindfully determines actions. These contemplations, Ānanda, when developed and practiced, bring forth mindfulness and clear knowing.” - AN.6.29 Udāyī Sutta
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Re: Anapanasati in non-sitting postures?

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:04 pm

I think there was a sutta in AN about walking about in the first jhana, but that might not be related.

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