Mentally Stopping One's Heart Beat

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
User avatar
Pondera
Posts: 1738
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:02 pm

Mentally Stopping One's Heart Beat

Post by Pondera »

Is there any evidence in the pali canon or the abbidhamma of practitioners mentally stopping their heart beats? Or even in modern folk lore?

I've been experimenting with the idea for a while now. (Not as a form of suicide - just as a way of calming the whole furnace of the mind).

Cheers
“Monk, the property of light, the property of beauty, the property of the dimension of the infinitude of space, the property of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, the property of the dimension of nothingness: These properties are to be reached as perception attainments.[2] The property of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception is to be reached as a remnant-of-fabrications attainment. The property of the cessation of feeling & perception is to be reached as a cessation attainment."[3]

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
User avatar
pilgrim
Posts: 1666
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:56 pm

Re: Mentally Stopping One's Heart Beat

Post by pilgrim »

Anyone who successfully did this probably did not have the opportunity to relate the experience. :tongue:
Pinetree
Posts: 460
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 4:25 am

Re: Mentally Stopping One's Heart Beat

Post by Pinetree »

A.
Mentally Stopping One's Heart Beat
B.
just as a way of calming the whole furnace of the mind.
What does A have to do with B ?
User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18438
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Mentally Stopping One's Heart Beat

Post by Ben »

I suggest you maintain your precepts and observe your breath or engage in any of the other samatha bhavanas. They will lead to a calm mind and provide an excellent base for insight practice.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: [email protected]..
User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18438
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Mentally Stopping One's Heart Beat

Post by Ben »

If you want calm then I suggest you maintain your precepts and observe your breath.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: [email protected]..
User avatar
acinteyyo
Posts: 1695
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:48 am
Location: Bavaria / Germany

Re: Mentally Stopping One's Heart Beat

Post by acinteyyo »

Pondera wrote:Is there any evidence in the pali canon or the abbidhamma of practitioners mentally stopping their heart beats?
No, there isn't.
I can't speak about other resources. Apart from that, stopping one's heart beat does not lie within the range of control. However slowing down heart beats is possible by calming bodily formations.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.
User avatar
Mr Man
Posts: 3951
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: Mentally Stopping One's Heart Beat

Post by Mr Man »

acinteyyo wrote:. However slowing down heart beats is possible by calming bodily formations.
"calming bodily formations" What does that mean?
SarathW
Posts: 15515
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Mentally Stopping One's Heart Beat

Post by SarathW »

Calming breath.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
User avatar
acinteyyo
Posts: 1695
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:48 am
Location: Bavaria / Germany

Re: Mentally Stopping One's Heart Beat

Post by acinteyyo »

Mr Man wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:. However slowing down heart beats is possible by calming bodily formations.
"calming bodily formations" What does that mean?
SarathW got it right.
Bodily formations (kayasankhara) is considered as the in- and outbreath.
MN10 wrote:He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.
SN41.6 wrote:"There are three fabrications, householder: bodily-fabrications, verbal fabrications, & mental fabrications."
...
"In-&-out breaths are bodily fabrications.
...
In-&-out breaths are bodily; these are things tied up with the body. That's why in-&-out breaths are bodily fabrications.
That calming bodily formations can slow down one's heart beat is an experience I've experienced by myself.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.
Alexander____
Posts: 96
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2015 2:21 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Mentally Stopping One's Heart Beat

Post by Alexander____ »

Rather than stopping, slowing down the heart rate is interesting.

I find that just as I can manipulate the breath to cause a calming down of the body, feelings and mind likewise I can turn my attention and concentration to my heart rate and blood flow throughout my body to do the same.

The breath is a common meditation object in many techniques because it is autonomic and controllable. I find that the heart rate can also be observed and changed to effect. Also just as the quality of the breath reflects the mind state so does the quality of the heart rate and power.

Does anyone else share this experience?
User avatar
Nicolas
Posts: 1123
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:59 pm
Location: Somerville, MA, USA

Re: Mentally Stopping One's Heart Beat

Post by Nicolas »

Ajahn Brahm often tells this story about one of his lay students:
[url=http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books/Ajahn_Brahm_The_Jhanas.htm]The Jhanas[/url] by Ajahn Brahm wrote: A lay disciple once told me how he had "fluked" a deep Jhana while meditating at home. His wife thought he had died and sent for an ambulance. He was rushed to hospital in a wail of loud sirens. In the emergency room, there was no heartbeat registered on the E.C.G., nor brain activity to be seen by the E.E.G. So the doctor on put defibrillators on his chest to reactivate his heart. Even though he was being bounced up and down on the hospital bed through the force of the electric shocks, he didn't feel a thing! When he emerged from the Jhana in the emergency room, perfectly all right, he had no knowledge of how he had got there, nor of ambulances and sirens, nor of body-jerking defibrillators. All that long time that he was in Jhana, he was fully aware, but only of bliss. This is an example of what is meant by the five senses shutting down within the experience of Jhana.
JohnK
Posts: 1254
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:06 pm
Location: Tetons, Wyoming, USA

Re: Mentally Stopping One's Heart Beat

Post by JohnK »

I was recently in the hospital hooked up to a bunch of monitors while waiting to be moved to the cat scanner. I figured I would meditate while waiting. But three different times alarms went off, and the nurse had to come back to make sure I was okay -- so I just stopped.
Those who grasp at perceptions & views wander the internet creating friction. [based on Sn4:9,v.847]
User avatar
Mr Man
Posts: 3951
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: Mentally Stopping One's Heart Beat

Post by Mr Man »

acinteyyo wrote:
Mr Man wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:. However slowing down heart beats is possible by calming bodily formations.
"calming bodily formations" What does that mean?
SarathW got it right.
Bodily formations (kayasankhara) is considered as the in- and outbreath.

To my mind "calming bodily formations" is poor English, especially when used our of context.

And slowing the heart beat down can be done by having a nap. Is it significant?

I don't think we really need to concern ourselves to much with the heart beat (unless we have a medical condition).
User avatar
acinteyyo
Posts: 1695
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:48 am
Location: Bavaria / Germany

Re: Mentally Stopping One's Heart Beat

Post by acinteyyo »

Mr Man wrote:To my mind "calming bodily formations" is poor English, especially when used our of context.
Maybe... I'm not a native speaker so I don't know. I've just quoted a part of a suttatranslation.
Mr Man wrote:And slowing the heart beat down can be done by having a nap. Is it significant?

I don't think we really need to concern ourselves to much with the heart beat (unless we have a medical condition).
Probably not very significant unless one asks questions about it.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.
User avatar
Mr Man
Posts: 3951
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: Mentally Stopping One's Heart Beat

Post by Mr Man »

acinteyyo wrote:
Mr Man wrote:To my mind "calming bodily formations" is poor English, especially when used our of context.
Maybe... I'm not a native speaker so I don't know. I've just quoted a part of a suttatranslation.
Mr Man wrote:And slowing the heart beat down can be done by having a nap. Is it significant?

I don't think we really need to concern ourselves to much with the heart beat (unless we have a medical condition).
Probably not very significant unless one asks questions about it.

best wishes, acinteyyo
:anjali:
Post Reply