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how breathing helps - Dhamma Wheel

how breathing helps

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

Postby effort » Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:44 pm

hello all,

its really nice to see you all here, and WHY YOU DIDN'T TELL ME YOU ARE HERE!!!

would you please tell me in simple words how mindfulness of breathing helps?
i know observing body or mind helps you get familiar with your body and mind and lead to the feeling of "this is just body", "this is just mind". but how mindfulness of breath helps?

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Jechbi
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Re: how breathing helps

Postby Jechbi » Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:06 pm

Hi and welcome. :hello:

One thing I've noticed is that the breath is connected with underlying states of body and mind. So if I have a disturbing thought, my breath becomes slightly more rapid or deeper, for example. That means, if I am aware of my breathing, I might be more apt to notice things that otherwise would slip through the radar, so to speak. (And then return my attention to my breath.)

Other folks might have different (and better) answers.

:smile:

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cooran
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Re: how breathing helps

Postby cooran » Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:17 pm

Hello effort, all,

This article may be of assistance:
"Mindfulness of Breathing is mainly aimed to calm and focus the mind, and is therefore what is known as a samatha (Sanskrit, shamatha), or calming practice."
"The traditional name for this meditation practice is Anapanasati. This word simply means mindfulness (sati) of breathing (pana) in and out. This is a meditation practice where we use the breath as the object of attention to which we return every time we notice that the mind has wandered."
"In a nutshell, this practice works mainly through us withdrawing our attention from distracting thoughts and redirecting our attention to the physical sensations of the breath. By doing so, we are putting less energy into the emotional states of restlessness, anxiety, craving, ill will, etc that drive those thoughts. Over time the mind becomes calmer and our emotional states become more balanced and positive, and our experience becomes more positive."
http://www.wildmind.org/mindfulness

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Jechbi
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Re: how breathing helps

Postby Jechbi » Sat Aug 22, 2009 5:38 am


kannada
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Re: how breathing helps

Postby kannada » Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:46 am

Just a view - nothing more...

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Jechbi
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Re: how breathing helps

Postby Jechbi » Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:31 pm


kannada
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Re: how breathing helps

Postby kannada » Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:30 am

Hi Jechbi, thanks for your post...

Meditation is my favourite subject.

I interpreted 'efforts' post to mean that s/he was already familiar with Vipassana meditation but wanted to know more about Samatha / absorption, in as few words as possible – hence my reply. Your comments seem to relate more to Vipassana, the 'watching' of arisings rather than just focussing entirely on the breath, as in Samatha.

Sole focus on the respiration is what is required in a Samatha session. The focus is entirely on the rise and fall of the breath, there is no 'avoidance' in it, just focus as in any practice that requires ones full attention. An archer shooting at his target focusses solely on the bulls-eye. The surgeon operating on his patient pays full attention to his task, the student focusses entirely on the exam to be completed. There is no avoidance in any of these examples, just total attention on the current task – why should meditation be treated any differently?

As I understand it, Buddhist meditation is practised in three ways (not counting kasina practices here), they are either straight Vipasanna, a blend of Vipassana and Samatha, and straight Samatha. In a straight Vipassana session the focus is on the arisings, presentation and subsidings of mental content and physical sensations. The Vipassana / Samatha pratice begins with watching arisings / subsidings but when the mind is not productive of content then the attention is returned to the respiration, in the straight Samatha practice, the whole session is devoted to complete absorption in the respiration.

The straight Vipassana practice is excellent practice for active minds with little or any breaks between mental content or a fidgety, demanding body. The Vipassana / Samatha practice is excellent for a more quieter mind that will subside somewhere within the allotted time of the session, so that the quieter mind can then be focussed upon the breath and the Samatha only meditation session is excellent for those minds with little, if any mental content, that can easily be turned to the breath without undue effort.

There is yet another aspect to Vipasanna that need not be mentioned here.

I hope my comments have helped...

All the best

k
Just a view - nothing more...

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Jechbi
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Re: how breathing helps

Postby Jechbi » Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:43 pm


kannada
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Re: how breathing helps

Postby kannada » Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:26 am

Just a view - nothing more...

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Jechbi
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Re: how breathing helps

Postby Jechbi » Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:48 pm


kannada
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Re: how breathing helps

Postby kannada » Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:36 am

Just a view - nothing more...

PeterB
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Re: how breathing helps

Postby PeterB » Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:34 pm


salaatti
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Re: how breathing helps

Postby salaatti » Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:03 pm

If someone has practiced meditation for example twenty years. Do they still practice awareness on breathing or is it just objectless meditation?

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appicchato
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Re: how breathing helps

Postby appicchato » Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:36 pm


EOD
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Re: how breathing helps

Postby EOD » Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:48 pm



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