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Questions about basic breath meditation - Dhamma Wheel

Questions about basic breath 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.
heraclito27
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Questions about basic breath meditation

Postby heraclito27 » Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:19 am

The instruction is often something like: "...and we try to become aware of the sensation of the breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils.."
I have some questions.

-Do I have to focus in one nostril or in both at the same time?

-Do I have to focus in a small specific point not allowing any feeling of breath in any other point of the body? Or it is more like an open perspective from that point?

-What can I do in the moments I don't feel any sensation in the nostrils?

-Is it posible to focus totally in a point and see it perfectly constant, unchanging, without interruption, mind absorved without experiencing anything else than that?

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Laurens
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Re: Questions about basic breath meditation

Postby Laurens » Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:40 am

You should try to focus on both nostrils, I think focusing on one would be too much of a challenge.

Breathe naturally, don't control or manipulate your breath in any way. Breathe as you normally would, but simply focus your attention on the nostrils, pay attention to how it feels in that area, hot? cold? rough? smooth? Just be aware of how it feels around that area as you breathe normally, don't worry about controlling your breath in any way.

For me, I focus on my nostrils because that is the area in which I feel the breath more strongly. If you can't feel the breath so well in the nostrils, where do you feel it the strongest? In the throat? the chest? the abdomen? wherever you find it easiest to focus, you can fix your attention there.

Yes you can develop states of deep concentration, however don't think about this when you sit down to meditate. Thinking about achieving this will take your mind out of the present moment, all you should do is watch the breath in the moment. Don't think about what will happen in the next moment.

I hope that helps
Laurens
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

Carl Sagan

Moggalana
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Re: Questions about basic breath meditation

Postby Moggalana » Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:21 am

Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.

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mkk
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Re: Questions about basic breath meditation

Postby mkk » Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:49 am

you can find a sutta discussion of the ānāpānasati sutta - scroll down to M 118 and download the pdf. Locate the section 2.4 for information on the term parimukhaṁ which causes the confusion - after that you have to decide by yourself how to put in into practice :).

Metta,
Micha.

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catmoon
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Re: Questions about basic breath meditation

Postby catmoon » Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:56 am


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Laurens
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Re: Questions about basic breath meditation

Postby Laurens » Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:23 pm

You may also find these useful, they are guided meditations, listening to them should give you a basic idea of what to do:



"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

Carl Sagan

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Cittasanto
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Re: Questions about basic breath meditation

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:35 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

heraclito27
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Re: Questions about basic breath meditation

Postby heraclito27 » Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:14 pm

Hi Moggalana and all, thanks for your answers.

I think my problem is that breath is to complex and changing to find a point to focus.

When the session start I see the breath low detail. I can identify "that is the breath". It seems more stable and simple, as if I can grab it.
But in reality I'm not watching the breath so much, I'm watching the concepts.
Concepts seems to give an illusion of stability that is secure and feels good.

But when (I think) I get a little more concentration breath looks very complex and changing. I can't say "that is the breath". What part of this experience is the breath? nostrils seems big surface, the air passing is a set of irregular vibrations, temperature changes, movement. Sometimes is difficult to identify if it is in or out breath. Sometimes breath desappear. Sometimes breath use all the space available.
Where do I have to focus in this stream changing data?

Then I think "I'm not meditating well", or "It's imposible to meditate because there is not such thing as and stable and uniform point where to focus on".

But the text that Moggalana suggest gives me different practical perspective. Maybe I was giving to much emphasis to the word "focus".

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mkk
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Re: Questions about basic breath meditation

Postby mkk » Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:37 pm


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Laurens
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Re: Questions about basic breath meditation

Postby Laurens » Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:58 pm

"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

Carl Sagan

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mikenz66
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Re: Questions about basic breath meditation

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:47 pm


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Collective
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Re: Questions about basic breath meditation

Postby Collective » Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:26 pm

People talk about 'picking' a teacher like they are falling out of trees.

The reality for some is that they ain't any around for many miles

Frustrating!

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Laurens
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Re: Questions about basic breath meditation

Postby Laurens » Thu Dec 17, 2009 6:20 pm

"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

Carl Sagan

Moggalana
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Re: Questions about basic breath meditation

Postby Moggalana » Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:41 pm

In the end, it's not so much a question of which object you choose, but how you relate to it. Basically, you can use almost anything as an object for your meditation. It depends on what you are trying to do. If you are aiming at samādhi, you choose an object, place your awareness upon it, and gradually let go of anything else. Ajahn Brahm describes this process pretty accurately in the link I posted above and in more detail in his book Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond.
Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.

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Laurens
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Re: Questions about basic breath meditation

Postby Laurens » Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:58 pm

"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

Carl Sagan

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mikenz66
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Re: Questions about basic breath meditation

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:18 pm


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Collective
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Re: Questions about basic breath meditation

Postby Collective » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:16 pm

My tantrum was not aimed at you Mike, or anyone in particular, just the fact that there's not a single teacher (I know of) around for many a mile

But the advice here (and in this particular post) has been very encouraging

Thank You :)

heraclito27
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Re: Questions about basic breath meditation

Postby heraclito27 » Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:48 pm


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Laurens
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Re: Questions about basic breath meditation

Postby Laurens » Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:06 am

"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

Carl Sagan


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