YOU CANNOT POST. OUR WEB HOSTING COMPANY DECIDED TO MOVE THE SERVER TO ANOTHER LOCATION. IN THE MEANTIME, YOU CAN VIEW THIS VERSION WHICH DOES NOT ALLOW POSTING AND WILL NOT SAVE ANYTHING YOU DO ONCE THE OTHER SERVER GOES ONLINE.

Breath is an intrusion now... - Dhamma Wheel

Breath is an intrusion now...

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
User avatar
Myotai
Posts: 495
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:39 am

Breath is an intrusion now...

Postby Myotai » Tue Dec 31, 2013 5:33 pm

I have been practising for some years now and have used the breath as a focus. However, over the last few months its been almost impossible to focus for more than a few minutes. I have been here before and followed the usual procedures to maintain a focus but believe me its not working and hasn't for some time now.

I moved from Anapanasati to a more Zen orientated practice - Silent Illumination - some time ago. No real reason other than I was trying to get to grips with Dogen after many years of struggling with the whole idea of Shikantaza practice. I seemed to get on with this practice so stayed with it, a little disappointed that there are not any similar practices in the Theravada (correct me if I am wrong).

I am just concerned as to this new utter inability to stay focussed on the breath at all now. It calms the mind after about 15mins, then feels like an intrusion, like its agitating the surface of a pond that wants to be calm and still. After stilling the mind then allowing an objectless awareness to take over the mind seems more open and alert than if I focus it on the breath.

I don't frequent any centres or have access to speak with a teacher face to face very often so appreciate your advice.

Thanks in advance and a Happy New Year to everyone

User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Breath is an intrusion now...

Postby daverupa » Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:31 pm

What has happened to your satipatthana practice, during all of this?

User avatar
Goofaholix
Posts: 2928
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:49 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Breath is an intrusion now...

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:38 pm

It's only an intrusion because of your attitude towards it.

You are always breathing, when you are walking, when you are sitting at the computer, when you are sleeping, does it feel like an intrusion then? So why does it feel like an intrusion during meditation? It's your attitude that is different.

It's easy to get uptight about breathing when you have a history of focusing on the breath and then choose to drop it as your primary object, so just be aware of that.

Breathing is just one of many things that is happening as you meditate, what's important is what the mind is doing, if the mind is consistently calm and aware then that's all you need, it doesn't matter what it's aware of it's the ability to maintain that awareness to the point of being continuous.

thelotuseffect
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:46 am

Re: Breath is an intrusion now...

Postby thelotuseffect » Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:15 pm

It is just a phase :) Don't reject the breath, and don't believe in the permanence of your issue.

The breath is very useful as a neutral sign post to maintain mindfulness, so its worth it for you to keep trying.
Find a teacher to relate this to maybe he/she will help.

User avatar
kirk5a
Posts: 1959
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: Breath is an intrusion now...

Postby kirk5a » Wed Jan 01, 2014 3:35 pm

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

User avatar
Myotai
Posts: 495
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:39 am

Re: Breath is an intrusion now...

Postby Myotai » Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:44 am


User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Breath is an intrusion now...

Postby daverupa » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:02 pm


User avatar
Spiny Norman
Posts: 4918
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Spam, wonderful spam

Re: Breath is an intrusion now...

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:06 pm

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

User avatar
Myotai
Posts: 495
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:39 am

Re: Breath is an intrusion now...

Postby Myotai » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:08 pm


thelotuseffect
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:46 am

Re: Breath is an intrusion now...

Postby thelotuseffect » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:32 pm

There really are no right and wrong techniques for this. Its all about how happy and receptive you are to what is happening, even if you don't like it. If you understand this point, meditation opens up easier. A good teacher helps shorten the time to correct understanding so you can attain magga.

User avatar
Myotai
Posts: 495
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:39 am

Re: Breath is an intrusion now...

Postby Myotai » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:51 pm


User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Breath is an intrusion now...

Postby daverupa » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:00 pm

Elaboration may be difficult without an understanding of how you already understand the third tetrad of anapanasati, or cittanupassana generally. Maybe you could also say a few brief words about your shikantaza practice? In any event, some brief thoughts come to mind, a bit like a scatter plot...

You had said "stay focused on the breath". As far as I understand things, the third tetrad does not employ a narrow or laser-like focus on the breath. As the mind is found to be one way or another on the inhale, so it is noted. And on the exhale, so noted. This is experiencing it, per the first instruction of the third tetrad - and the breath is simply like a metronome, or a ticking clock. Not ignored, not made a focus - and thus, your problem is averted, I think.

The mind can then be gladdened through appropriate means & antidotes, calmed, and then released, but throughout the breath ticks away. It isn't even the case that I consider whether it's the same mind or different minds over time - this would just be papanca, I think, in the context. Instead, the point is that for the in-breath, just this is my worktable, my workzone, for bringing mindfulness to bear on the mind (or whichever category). Then, when it is the out-breath, just this is my worktable, my workzone.

This awareness of breathing, which is to say, the presence of breathing within whatever scope of awareness obtains, persists even through most jhana. But it's not the focus.

:thinking:

User avatar
Myotai
Posts: 495
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:39 am

Re: Breath is an intrusion now...

Postby Myotai » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:42 am


User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Breath is an intrusion now...

Postby daverupa » Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:28 pm


User avatar
Myotai
Posts: 495
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:39 am

!

Postby Myotai » Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:18 am


User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: !

Postby daverupa » Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:21 pm


User avatar
Myotai
Posts: 495
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:39 am

Re: Breath is an intrusion now...

Postby Myotai » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:46 pm

Thanks again, but in terms of the process when in the meditation session how woould you advise I proceed?

Its tricky as I am concious that I develop an attachment to certain practices that over emphasise a sense of self - lit. "... 'I' am now a practicing Theravada Buddhist....." Then I may feel that my practice errs towards the Silent Illumination/Shikantaza practice and I am aware of my self perception changing into; "...'I' am now a practicing Zen Buddhist...". Its odd a this process almost automatically excludes all other attributes and accoutriments that accompany either tradition. Chanting for example, it seems somehow inapproipriate to chant in Pali if I am practicing Shikantaza...does that make sense?

M...

User avatar
kirk5a
Posts: 1959
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: Breath is an intrusion now...

Postby kirk5a » Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:01 pm

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Breath is an intrusion now...

Postby daverupa » Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:35 pm



Return to “General Theravāda Meditation”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: mario92 and 42 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine