Asthma/heart problems and meditation?

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

Asthma/heart problems and meditation?

Postby Heaviside » Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:12 am

I have asthma and a couple of congenital heart ailments. When I meditate, I am far too conscious of my pulse and chest flutter, as well as a raw lump in my chest I am always aware of. This makes it hard to stay mindful of the breath per-se.

Does anyone here have similar problems? Any advice?
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Re: Asthma/heart problems and meditation?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:13 am

Greetings,

I'd suggest to try focusing on the nostrils as a gateway, and failing that, find a different meditation method for which your ailments will be less of an obstruction.

Metta,
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Re: Asthma/heart problems and meditation?

Postby Ben » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:39 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

I'd suggest to try focusing on the nostrils as a gateway, and failing that, find a different meditation method for which your ailments will be less of an obstruction.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Seconded.
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Re: Asthma/heart problems and meditation?

Postby daverupa » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:43 am

There might be another way to go, as well.

Instead of tightening the focus on the nostrils in order to set aside the other distracting input, you might try blending all the input together such that, no matter what else can be detected about the body, the breathing is noted as a repetitive body-flexion encompassing all the other bodily inputs. This, then, can be the basis for the third step of anapanasati's first tetrad.
    "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: Asthma/heart problems and meditation?

Postby Heaviside » Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:58 pm

Thanks. It had occurred to me to adopt the "distracting" sensations as part of the breathing, but was wondering if it would provide a focus that was tight enough.

I will give both suggestions a try.
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