Anapanasati Help - First day meditating.

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Anapanasati Help - First day meditating.

Postby indian_buddhist » Sat May 03, 2014 7:05 am

Today was my first day of Anapanasati Meditation. I sat down and started focusing on my breadth. Sure enough within 10 minutes of focusing I lost focus on the breadth. My mind drifted and I had a feeling of me walking deeper and deeper into my own mind - something like cutting across layer by layer by a knife and going deeper.........Then I saw a dull orange atom like element.

How to bring focus back to the breadth and stop allowing the mind to drift away?.
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Re: Anapanasati Help - First day meditating.

Postby cooran » Sat May 03, 2014 7:21 am

This article may be of assistance:

Anapanasati - Meditation on Breathing
http://www.vipassana.com/meditation/ana ... athing.php

With metta,
Chris
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Re: Anapanasati Help - First day meditating.

Postby Reductor » Sat May 03, 2014 7:58 am

It helps to know what instructions you're using.

I suspect you're mind is becoming dull and is sinking into inactivity, so my first thought would be to stay loose, not over focus - don't focus HARD on one thing, trying to keep everything but the breath OUT, just relax and come back to the breath when you realize something has lured you away with the promise of gratification (some dream like thought or image - hazy and enjoyable). If necessary, open your eyes and take three or four DEEP breaths and begin again. Maybe lift your arms and stretch them out, wiggle your fingers, too.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: Anapanasati Help - First day meditating.

Postby indian_buddhist » Sat May 03, 2014 8:18 am

Reductor wrote:It helps to know what instructions you're using.

I suspect you're mind is becoming dull and is sinking into inactivity, so my first thought would be to stay loose, not over focus - don't focus HARD on one thing, trying to keep everything but the breath OUT, just relax and come back to the breath when you realize something has lured you away with the promise of gratification (some dream like thought or image - hazy and enjoyable). If necessary, open your eyes and take three or four DEEP breaths and begin again. Maybe lift your arms and stretch them out, wiggle your fingers, too.


OK, so what I did was just focusing on my breadth. I read somewhere that you need to focus on some part where the breadth would land (upper lib or something). I dont know why but I dint choose that way.........What I did was I just focused on my breadth.......And I could focus on it.....I could very easily observe the breadth taking in and Taking out....when I took a Long breadth I saw that I took a Long breadth......When I took a short breadth I saw that I took a short breadth.......There was absolutely no control or will of the breadth.....It was just natural breadth and I could focus on that.

Maybe to focus on some place where the breadth lands is a better way?
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Re: Anapanasati Help - First day meditating.

Postby Weakfocus » Sat May 03, 2014 8:33 am

indian_buddhist wrote:How to bring focus back to the breadth and stop allowing the mind to drift away?.


When you come to notice that mind has wandered away from respiration, make a mental note ("mind has wandered") and bring it back to breath. Do it as many times as required during a sitting, with patience and without getting agitated. Over time and with persistent daily meditation your mind will increasingly stay with breath and wander away less frequently. When your mind does wander away, it will come back to breath more quickly. But all this takes time, so be patient. Khanti and viriya are included among the paramitas, and this is your opportunity to develop them.

Another thing that helps mind stay on breath is posture, always keep your back straight and you will notice you stay somwhat more alert.

Mayhaps this video will help you with technique better than anything else. Best wishes for your daily practice, if you ever feel issues with motivation free feel to use the topic "The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge".
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Re: Anapanasati Help - First day meditating.

Postby daverupa » Sat May 03, 2014 11:44 am

indian_buddhist wrote:How to bring focus back to the breadth and stop allowing the mind to drift away?.


Which tetrad of anapanasati are you using, primarily, as you begin?
    "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 Help - First day meditating.

Postby indian_buddhist » Sat May 03, 2014 11:55 am

daverupa wrote:
indian_buddhist wrote:How to bring focus back to the breadth and stop allowing the mind to drift away?.


Which tetrad of anapanasati are you using, primarily, as you begin?


It is true midway through the meditation stage I was focusing on the Mind and checking for Greed or Hatred present in my mind. Maybe I should not do that. Should the tetrad always be followed in order?.

I dont know maybe I should attend Goenka's session (I will in June) before trying out these things on your own.

Whats your suggestion?.
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Re: Anapanasati Help - First day meditating.

Postby daverupa » Sat May 03, 2014 12:48 pm

indian_buddhist wrote:Should the tetrad always be followed in order?


It should be a refinement of the daily satipatthana practice, which involves guarded sense gates and mindfulness throughout the day among any of the tetrads; this can even be a seated practice.

Anapanasati is the route from satipatthana to jhana - given the gradual training, I think most of us actually start out doing seated satipatthana, and can spend a lot of useful time practicing in this sort of way, all while calling it anapanasati. In any case, it may be useful to memorize SN 46.2.

---

Use the breath as a mindfulness metronome, and so forth, but even with anapanasati there are other things to do than just watch the breathing. Just watching the breath isn't at all useful, in my experience, so if the mind wanders, well, note 'wandering mind' on the inhale, see if it changes on the exhale, consider how the wandering mind was fed, consider how it can be starved, what will feed a calm and one-pointed mind... you see?

Maybe the mind wanders for a long time, but then you notice it. Bam - are you inhaling or exhaling? Can you recall what led to the loss of mindfulness? Did wondering about that cause you to miss the next inhale/exhale?

And so it goes.
    "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 Help - First day meditating.

Postby indian_buddhist » Sat May 03, 2014 1:05 pm

daverupa wrote:
indian_buddhist wrote:Should the tetrad always be followed in order?


It should be a refinement of the daily satipatthana practice, which involves guarded sense gates and mindfulness throughout the day among any of the tetrads; this can even be a seated practice.

Anapanasati is the route from satipatthana to jhana - given the gradual training, I think most of us actually start out doing seated satipatthana, and can spend a lot of useful time practicing in this sort of way, all while calling it anapanasati. In any case, it may be useful to memorize SN 46.2.

---

Use the breath as a mindfulness metronome, and so forth, but even with anapanasati there are other things to do than just watch the breathing. Just watching the breath isn't at all useful, in my experience, so if the mind wanders, well, note 'wandering mind' on the inhale, see if it changes on the exhale, consider how the wandering mind was fed, consider how it can be starved, what will feed a calm and one-pointed mind... you see?

Maybe the mind wanders for a long time, but then you notice it. Bam - are you inhaling or exhaling? Can you recall what led to the loss of mindfulness? Did wondering about that cause you to miss the next inhale/exhale?

And so it goes.



Ok thank you Daverupa.
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Re: Anapanasati Help - First day meditating.

Postby Ananda26 » Sat May 03, 2014 2:53 pm

indian_buddhist wrote:Today was my first day of Anapanasati Meditation. I sat down and started focusing on my breadth. Sure enough within 10 minutes of focusing I lost focus on the breadth. My mind drifted and I had a feeling of me walking deeper and deeper into my own mind - something like cutting across layer by layer by a knife and going deeper.........Then I saw a dull orange atom like element.

How to bring focus back to the breadth and stop allowing the mind to drift away?.


Here is a discourse from Connected Discouses of the Buddha Chapter 54 on Mindfulness of Breathing.

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then Ven. Ananda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, bowed down to him and sat to one side. As he was sitting there he addressed the Blessed One, saying, "Is there one quality that, when developed & pursued, brings four qualities to completion? And four qualities that, when developed & pursued, bring seven qualities to completion? And seven qualities that, when developed & pursued, bring two qualities to completion?"

"Yes, Ananda, there is one quality that, when developed & pursued, brings four qualities to completion; and four qualities that, when developed & pursued, bring seven qualities to completion; and seven qualities that, when developed & pursued, bring two qualities to completion. And what is the one quality that, when developed & pursued, brings four qualities to completion? What are the four qualities that, when developed & pursued, bring seven qualities to completion? What are the seven qualities that, when developed & pursued, bring two qualities to completion?

"Mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, when developed & pursued, brings the four frames of reference[1] to completion. The four frames of reference, when developed & pursued, bring the seven factors for Awakening to completion. The seven factors for Awakening, when developed & pursued, bring clear knowing & release to completion.

Mindfulness of In-&-Out Breathing
"Now how is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing developed & pursued so as to bring the four frames of reference to their culmination?

"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. Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.

"[1] Breathing in long, he discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long.' [2] Or breathing in short, he discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, he discerns, 'I am breathing out short.' [3] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.' [4] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'

"[5] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to rapture.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to rapture.' [6] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to pleasure.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to pleasure.' [7] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to mental fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to mental fabrication.' [8] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming mental fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming mental fabrication.'

"[9] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the mind.' [10] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in satisfying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out satisfying the mind.' [11] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in steadying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out steadying the mind.' [12] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in releasing the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out releasing the mind.'

"[13] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on inconstancy.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on inconstancy.' [14] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on dispassion.'[2] He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on dispassion.' [15] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on cessation.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on cessation.' [16] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on relinquishment.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on relinquishment.'

The Four Frames of Reference
"[1] Now, on whatever occasion a monk breathing in long discerns that he is breathing in long; or breathing out long, discerns that he is breathing out long; or breathing in short, discerns that he is breathing in short; or breathing out short, discerns that he is breathing out short; trains himself to breathe in... &... out sensitive to the entire body; trains himself to breathe in... &... out calming the bodily processes: On that occasion the monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. I tell you that this — the in-&-out breath — is classed as a body among bodies, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.

"[2] On whatever occasion a monk trains himself to breathe in... &... out sensitive to rapture; trains himself to breathe in... &... out sensitive to pleasure; trains himself to breathe in... &... out sensitive to mental processes; trains himself to breathe in... &... out calming mental processes: On that occasion the monk remains focused on feelings in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. I tell you that this — close attention to in-&-out breaths — is classed as a feeling among feelings, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on feelings in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.

"[3] On whatever occasion a monk trains himself to breathe in... &... out sensitive to the mind; trains himself to breathe in... &... out satisfying the mind; trains himself to breathe in... &... out steadying the mind; trains himself to breathe in... &... out releasing the mind: On that occasion the monk remains focused on the mind in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. I don't say that there is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing in one of confused mindfulness and no alertness, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on the mind in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.

"[4] On whatever occasion a monk trains himself to breathe in... &... out focusing on inconstancy; trains himself to breathe in... &... out focusing on dispassion; trains himself to breathe in... &... out focusing on cessation; trains himself to breathe in... &... out focusing on relinquishment: On that occasion the monk remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. He who sees clearly with discernment the abandoning of greed & distress is one who oversees with equanimity, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.

"This is how mindfulness of in-&-out breathing is developed & pursued so as to bring the four frames of reference to their culmination.

The Seven Factors for Awakening
"And how are the four frames of reference developed & pursued so as to bring the seven factors for Awakening to their culmination?

"[1] On whatever occasion the monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world, on that occasion his mindfulness is steady & without lapse. When his mindfulness is steady & without lapse, then mindfulness as a factor for Awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[2] Remaining mindful in this way, he examines, analyzes, & comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment. When he remains mindful in this way, examining, analyzing, & coming to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, then analysis of qualities as a factor for Awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[3] In one who examines, analyzes, & comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, unflagging persistence is aroused. When unflagging persistence is aroused in one who examines, analyzes, & comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, then persistence as a factor for Awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[4] In one whose persistence is aroused, a rapture not-of-the-flesh arises. When a rapture not-of-the-flesh arises in one whose persistence is aroused, then rapture as a factor for Awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[5] For one who is enraptured, the body grows calm and the mind grows calm. When the body & mind of an enraptured monk grow calm, then serenity as a factor for Awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[6] For one who is at ease — his body calmed — the mind becomes concentrated. When the mind of one who is at ease — his body calmed — becomes concentrated, then concentration as a factor for Awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[7] He oversees the mind thus concentrated with equanimity. When he oversees the mind thus concentrated with equanimity, equanimity as a factor for Awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

(Similarly with the other three frames of reference: feelings, mind, & mental qualities.)

"This is how the four frames of reference are developed & pursued so as to bring the seven factors for Awakening to their culmination.

Clear Knowing & Release
"And how are the seven factors for Awakening developed & pursued so as to bring clear knowing & release to their culmination? There is the case where a monk develops mindfulness as a factor for Awakening dependent on seclusion... dispassion... cessation, resulting in relinquishment. He develops analysis of qualities as a factor for Awakening... persistence as a factor for Awakening... rapture as a factor for Awakening... serenity as a factor for Awakening... concentration as a factor for Awakening... equanimity as a factor for Awakening dependent on seclusion... dispassion... cessation, resulting in relinquishment.

"This is how the seven factors for Awakening, when developed & pursued, bring clear knowing & release to their culmination."

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, Ven. Ananda delighted in the Blessed One's words.


One of the features of Mindfulness of Breathing topic is that there are 4 tetrads with 4 items each. So 4 times 4 equals 16.
If you find your mind wandering during meditation there are 16 options available to bring the mind back to the subject.

The dull orange element sounds like something to use the 8 bases of mastery on. Orange is a combination of yellow and red. So that would be the sixth base of mastery and the seventh base of mastery.
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Re: Anapanasati Help - First day meditating.

Postby santa100 » Sat May 03, 2014 3:55 pm

Try the counting method from 1 to 10 and then start again from 1 to 10, 1 to 10, etc. So with a focus on either the tip of the nose or the upper lip, increment the count to each pair of in-breath and out-breath..
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Re: Anapanasati Help - First day meditating.

Postby Reductor » Sat May 03, 2014 5:46 pm

indian_buddhist wrote:
Reductor wrote:It helps to know what instructions you're using.

I suspect you're mind is becoming dull and is sinking into inactivity, so my first thought would be to stay loose, not over focus - don't focus HARD on one thing, trying to keep everything but the breath OUT, just relax and come back to the breath when you realize something has lured you away with the promise of gratification (some dream like thought or image - hazy and enjoyable). If necessary, open your eyes and take three or four DEEP breaths and begin again. Maybe lift your arms and stretch them out, wiggle your fingers, too.


OK, so what I did was just focusing on my breadth. I read somewhere that you need to focus on some part where the breadth would land (upper lib or something). I dont know why but I dint choose that way.........What I did was I just focused on my breadth.......And I could focus on it.....I could very easily observe the breadth taking in and Taking out....when I took a Long breadth I saw that I took a Long breadth......When I took a short breadth I saw that I took a short breadth.......There was absolutely no control or will of the breadth.....It was just natural breadth and I could focus on that.

Maybe to focus on some place where the breadth lands is a better way?


There are many places to focus your attention on. In fact, you can move around to different points to feel how the breath feels there before moving to the next ("The breath feels cool at the nose... the breath feels like tension in the chest... the breath feels like tingles in the legs..."). Ajahn Lee suggested a few places in his "Method 2" (a very good start for breath meditation, in my experience).

Meditation is a learning process, but there are many teachings which, when reflected on before, during and after meditation, can help you along.

The sutta Daverupa posted is very helpful to bear in mind, along with this one, which stresses the need for careful reflection on how the mind responds to what you're doing.

In your specific case you should remember the second factor of enlightenment (find the factors listed at the end of the anapanasati sutta posted above), investigation-of-states (investigation of your own mind and body). Remember that you are allowed to think verbal thoughts, especially at the beginning, so long as they are limited to the breath. If some other thought comes in and distracts you, you will eventually remember that you're meditating and can use verbal thoughts to bring yourself back to the breath, e.g., "Oh, I've wandered away. Now I'll pay attention at the nose." or "I've wandered away. Where can I best feel the breath?"

In the first stages, meditation will be quite active, as you need to keep the mind from sinking into stupor while also confining it to the wholesome topic of your breath. After you do that a while, your energy while develop to a level which makes meditation feel alive but not chaotic - wholesome and pleasant.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: Anapanasati Help - First day meditating.

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun May 04, 2014 12:33 am

I knew a teacher that when teaching beginners meditation said that it consisted of two steps.

Step one, stay on your object of concentration.

Step two, return to your object of concentration.

He said as long as you are doing those two steps (Stay and Return) you are doing it "right". So it sounds to me like you are doing ok. :)
Last edited by m0rl0ck on Sun May 04, 2014 1:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Anapanasati Help - First day meditating.

Postby daverupa » Sun May 04, 2014 12:39 am

Reductor wrote:this one


is indeed very good in tandem. Those two are able to simply and handily shade the seven awakening factors & the hindrances into the whole tripartite Samadhi aspect of the Path, in my experience.
    "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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