Basic anapanasati instructions for a heathen :)

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Basic anapanasati instructions for a heathen :)

Postby m0rl0ck » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:35 pm

I have a co worker who out of the blue asked me for some meditation instructions. I dont make any secret of the fact that im buddhist and other than a couple of good natured jibes, no one makes a big deal of it, but this is the first time anyone has seriously asked me about it. I dont want to scare him off with anything that looks spooky or too religious or too complicated, so im looking for some basic breath meditation instructions in line with the anapanasati sutta:

"[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.'2 He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.' [4] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.'3 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.' "


instructions that make it plain that breath meditation is about calm relaxed joy. I'm having trouble finding such a thing. Anybody?

Thanks :bow:
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Basic anapanasati instructions for a heathen :)

Postby Kenshou » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:59 pm

I'm fond of Thanissaro's interpretation of them: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... 3.html#pre
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Re: Basic anapanasati instructions for a heathen :)

Postby Moggalana » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:22 pm

I like Ajahn Brahm's method. Not everyone shares his interpretation of nimitta and jhana, but I have found Part 1, Part 2 and the first bit of Part 3 (Full sustained attention on the beautiful breath) to be very conducive to my own practice. This bit of advice was particularly helpful for myself:
I have found through experience that it does not matter where you watch the breath. In fact it is best not to locate the breath anywhere! If you locate the breath at the tip of your nose then it becomes nose awareness, not breath awareness, and if you locate it at your abdomen then it becomes abdomen awareness. Just ask yourself the question right now, "Am I breathing in or am I breathing out?" How do you know? There! That experience which tells you what the breath is doing, that is what you focus on in breath meditation. Let go of concern about where this experience is located; just focus on the experience itself.


To put it all in a nutshell: Ajahn Sona - The Mystery Of The Breath Nimitta:
The following is a brief summary of instructions for meditators practicing breath meditation:

* Attend to the sensation of breath/air wherever it enters and exits the body. [alternatively, proceed as pointed out above by Ajahn Brahm]
* If visual perceptions arise, ignore them.
* If the mind wanders do not allow it. Return to only the point of contact of breath.
* Hold attention on the spot throughout the entire duration of in-breath and out-breaths.
* The sensation or perception of sensation of moving air will change to a static feeling, this is the sign of the mind stilling.
* Dwell on this airy, buoyant quality, which should pervade the head. One should experience a cool and airy emptiness of the head. This may extend throughout the body. This is a further "sign" of increasing stillness.
* Remain with this airy lightness as an experience to focus upon.
* All hindrances should have fallen away and the five jhana factors will be present to a degree that may be weak, medium or strong.
Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.
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Re: Basic anapanasati instructions for a heathen :)

Postby bodom » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:36 pm

Bhante Gunaratana's Mindfulness in Plain English without a doubt!
http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma4/mpe.html
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/086171 ... SS9D2SG5RN

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Basic anapanasati instructions for a heathen :)

Postby Kenshou » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:49 pm

Moggalana wrote:To put it all in a nutshell: Ajahn Sona - The Mystery Of The Breath Nimitta:
The following is a brief summary of instructions for meditators practicing breath meditation:

* Attend to the sensation of breath/air wherever it enters and exits the body. [alternatively, proceed as pointed out above by Ajahn Brahm]
* If visual perceptions arise, ignore them.
* If the mind wanders do not allow it. Return to only the point of contact of breath.
* Hold attention on the spot throughout the entire duration of in-breath and out-breaths.
* The sensation or perception of sensation of moving air will change to a static feeling, this is the sign of the mind stilling.
* Dwell on this airy, buoyant quality, which should pervade the head. One should experience a cool and airy emptiness of the head. This may extend throughout the body. This is a further "sign" of increasing stillness.
* Remain with this airy lightness as an experience to focus upon.
* All hindrances should have fallen away and the five jhana factors will be present to a degree that may be weak, medium or strong.


I had forgotten about that article, this section you've quoted is the most concise and effective little guide I've ever run into, I've found it to be exactly in line with how things to play out in reality. I would have floundered much less in my practice if I'd seen this at an earlier time, and would be a great bare-bones tidbit for a beginner. Good stuff.
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Re: Basic anapanasati instructions for a heathen :)

Postby m0rl0ck » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:01 pm

Moggalana wrote:I like Ajahn Brahm's method. Not everyone shares his interpretation of nimitta and jhana, but I have found Part 1, Part 2 and the first bit of Part 3 (Full sustained attention on the beautiful breath) to be very conducive to my own practice. This bit of advice was particularly helpful for myself:



Im really liking those, very close to what i was looking for. I think they will be a help in my practice and Im going to email my coworker the url, thanks :)

EDIT: The second bit is great as well, now that i have actually paused to read it thank you :)

2nd EDIT: In fact i think im just going to email him the url to your post, thanks again :bow:
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Basic anapanasati instructions for a heathen :)

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:16 pm

สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Basic anapanasati instructions for a heathen :)

Postby bodom » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:24 pm

jcsuperstar wrote:this is a good beginners guide

http://www.suanmokkh.org/archive/aps/mwb-abc1.htm


Agreed. This would have been my second suggestion behind MIPE. You cannot go wrong with Buddhadasa's anapanasati instruction's.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Basic anapanasati instructions for a heathen :)

Postby Joseph » Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:51 pm

Some nice resources there, thank you!
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Re: Basic anapanasati instructions for a heathen :)

Postby christopher::: » Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:52 pm

Very nice! Would any of you have some recommendations for good audio instructions of anapana-sati, that one can listen to while meditating, in the beginning?

:anjali:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Basic anapanasati instructions for a heathen :)

Postby bodom » Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:25 pm

christopher::: wrote:Very nice! Would any of you have some recommendations for good audio instructions of anapana-sati, that one can listen to while meditating, in the beginning?

:anjali:


Audio Dharma Guided Meditations
http://www.audiodharma.org/talks-guidedmeditation.html

Audio Dharma Anapanasati Practice - Mindfulness of Breathing
http://www.audiodharma.org/talks-anapanasati.html

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Basic anapanasati instructions for a heathen :)

Postby christopher::: » Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:48 pm

Thanks so much, bodom.

:bow:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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