Best Guide for Breath Meditation For Beginners

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Ceisiwr
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Re: Best Guide for Breath Meditation For Beginners

Post by Ceisiwr »

DooDoot wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:37 am
Ceisiwr wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:23 am :goodpost:
Its not in any way what the Buddha taught; not even a rough approximation. It is certainly not "ānāpānasati".
My meditation practice improved significantly since adopting the Visuddhimagga method and its explanations of anapanasati make sense to me.
"Analysis and synthesis are praised by the wise,
liberation in the Sāsana comes from analysis and synthesis;
the purpose of the method of analysis and synthesis is the ultimate"


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DooDoot
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Re: Best Guide for Breath Meditation For Beginners

Post by DooDoot »

Ceisiwr wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:42 am My meditation practice improved significantly since adopting the Visuddhimagga method and its explanations of anapanasati make sense to me.
The topic is "Best Guide for Breath Meditation For Beginners". As for your improvement, sure, for example, from 1% to 10% success is a massive improvement of 900%. But it remains a long way from 100% success. Kind regards :)
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Best Guide for Breath Meditation For Beginners

Post by Ceisiwr »

DooDoot wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:48 am
Ceisiwr wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:42 am My meditation practice improved significantly since adopting the Visuddhimagga method and its explanations of anapanasati make sense to me.
The topic is "Best Guide for Breath Meditation For Beginners". As for your improvement, sure, for example, from 1% to 10% success is a massive improvement of 900%. But it remains a long way from 100% success. Kind regards :)
I see no reason why a beginner can't begin to practice the Visuddhimagga method.
As for your improvement, sure, for example, from 1% to 10% success is a massive improvement of 900%. But it remains a long way from 100% success. Kind regards :)
There was a time when your baits were less obvious. This is appalling form for you ;)
"Analysis and synthesis are praised by the wise,
liberation in the Sāsana comes from analysis and synthesis;
the purpose of the method of analysis and synthesis is the ultimate"


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Volo
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Re: Best Guide for Breath Meditation For Beginners

Post by Volo »

DooDoot wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:37 am
Volo wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:18 amBut some misguided people, who are not able to do it, go around criticizing the method.
The above appears to say the Buddha was "misguided"; including for teaching "kayanupassana" & "sabbakāyapaṭisaṃvedī".
I never said Buddha was misguided, and I never would say such a thing. I don't see any reason to continue such conversation.
Last edited by Volo on Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Aloka
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Re: Best Guide for Breath Meditation For Beginners

Post by Aloka »

blo0mz wrote: Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:59 am Hello all,

Wondering where I can find a good guide or book with steps for breath meditation suitable for a beginner, who does not have access to a meditation center or in-person guidance.

Metta,
blo0mz
Hello blo0mz,

"Finding the Missing Peace - A Primer of Buddhist Meditation" is a little book by Ajahn Amaro (the abbot of Amaravati Monastery UK) which might be a good place for you to start:

https://www.amaravati.org/dhamma-books/ ... editation/


. :anjali:
ToVincent
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Re: Best Guide for Breath Meditation For Beginners

Post by ToVincent »

Some people out there will certainly say that "I pretend that Buddhists have simply got it wrong for 2000 years; and that only me is able to understand and explain things right. And even more so, when I put forward, they say, things alien to how the Dhamma has been understood since ancient times".
They might even go as far as saying that I am dumb; and that what I say is just crap and garbage.

Or they will say that I "try to confuse people".

But it seems to me (in this case), that all these breathing methods - that don't agree with each others - are based (again) on a lexical (grammatical) fallacy.
When you don't have the lexicography right, you definitely don't have the meaning right; and consequently, you can't understand and practice right.

In the case of the verbs assasanto & passasanto, the Sanskrit considers dīgha (दीर्घ dīrgha) and rassa (ह्रस्व hrasva [hras-va]), as adverbs - whose translation is far (high) & close (low) - and not long & short (as it would be, in the case of an adjective).

So one should not breathe long & short; but high & low. And understand the whole breathing process (sabbakaya), that derives from that high & low breathing (knowing about breath physiology might help - respiratory center and its low & high modulation).

There is nothing that bothers and devils a mara more, than having a human attain piti and sukkha through the low ang high breathing. For this is the escape from the lower pleasures of the senses.
Why wouldn't they keep giving you the wrong meaning?

There is no "best guide" — there is just "right meaning".
.
.
Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
.
Those who desire good are few, and those who desire evil are many.
Buddha
(And you just can't imagine how much goodness, those who desire evil, are ready to display - ToVincent).
KenD
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Re: Best Guide for Breath Meditation For Beginners

Post by KenD »

All of the commentaries, books, and dhamma talks referenced above may be of use in developing mindfulness of breathing as taught by the Buddha.

At the risk of sounding too simple, my recommendation is to use the instructions given in Majhima Nikaya 118.

Key phrases include; developed and cultivated, ardent, fully aware, and mindful. Use the breath to calm the bodily formation, calm the mental formation, liberate the mind, and so forth as instructed in 16 steps.

As a factor of the noble 8-fold path, in the context of the 4 noble truths, understanding that the 5 hindrances are to be abandoned, this practice is sufficient.

Practiced with saddha, viriya, sati, samadhi and panna for moments, hours, days, weeks, months, and years; mindfulness of breathing can produce great results.
MN 118
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Re: Best Guide for Breath Meditation For Beginners

Post by DarrenM »

KenD wrote: Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:12 pm All of the commentaries, books, and dhamma talks referenced above may be of use in developing mindfulness of breathing as taught by the Buddha.

At the risk of sounding too simple, my recommendation is to use the instructions given in Majhima Nikaya 118.

Key phrases include; developed and cultivated, ardent, fully aware, and mindful. Use the breath to calm the bodily formation, calm the mental formation, liberate the mind, and so forth as instructed in 16 steps.

As a factor of the noble 8-fold path, in the context of the 4 noble truths, understanding that the 5 hindrances are to be abandoned, this practice is sufficient.

Practiced with saddha, viriya, sati, samadhi and panna for moments, hours, days, weeks, months, and years; mindfulness of breathing can produce great results.
Outstanding advice. Agreed.

Speaking for myself, I made things complicated by reading the hundreds and different books and views of monks and lay teachers, resulting in a mish mash of god knows what I was doing.

As Ken is saying, I think the best advice is to read the sutta and do as it says. It seemed to simple for my mind so I kept looking for the ‘best’ technique until I got anxious and fed up. I still don’t know if what I’m doing is right for sure ! What I do know though is by simply practising what the sutta says I can get some peace, and pleasant feelings which are providing enough nutriment for the mind to slowly lessen my sensual desires, leading to a bit more peace.....
“Householder, you have provided the community of monks with robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick, but you shouldn’t rest content with the thought, ‘We have provided the community of monks with robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick.’ So you should train yourself, ‘Let’s periodically enter & remain in seclusion & rapture.’ That’s how you should train yourself.”
AN 5.176- Rapture
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Re: Best Guide for Breath Meditation For Beginners

Post by confusedlayman »

if ur practice involved controlling breath, then control the flow of breath so u wont become too drowsy or too active with various thoughts coming up...

if u want to observe the ongoing natural breath without control, then perceive the space around u...
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Re: Best Guide for Breath Meditation For Beginners

Post by bodhifollower »

The Buddha said that breath fulfills the four foundations of awareness. I take this to mean you can practice breath on each foundation, body, feeling, mind, and dhamma. If on the body then feel the rise and fall of the abdomen/chest as your breathing naturally. If feeling, then feel the breath in the body. If mind the be aware of how the states of mind affect the breath. If dhammas, then think about how the breath is impermanent or other ideas of the dhamma. Hope this helps.
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Re: Best Guide for Breath Meditation For Beginners

Post by bodhifollower »

bodhifollower wrote: Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:47 am The Buddha said that breath fulfills the four foundations of awareness. I take this to mean you can practice breath on each foundation, body, feeling, mind, and dhamma. If on the body then feel the rise and fall of the abdomen/chest as your breathing naturally. If feeling, then feel the breath in the body. If mind the be aware of how the states of mind affect the breath. If dhammas, then think about how the breath is impermanent or other ideas of the dhamma. Hope this helps.
Edit* for mind, instead of being aware of the states of mind on the breath, I think it means to be aware of the sounds of the breath.
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Re: Best Guide for Breath Meditation For Beginners

Post by bodhifollower »

bodhifollower wrote: Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:54 am
bodhifollower wrote: Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:47 am The Buddha said that breath fulfills the four foundations of awareness. I take this to mean you can practice breath on each foundation, body, feeling, mind, and dhamma. If on the body then feel the rise and fall of the abdomen/chest as your breathing naturally. If feeling, then feel the breath in the body. If mind the be aware of how the states of mind affect the breath. If dhammas, then think about how the breath is impermanent or other ideas of the dhamma. Hope this helps.
Edit* for mind, instead of being aware of the states of mind on the breath, I think it means to be aware of the sounds of the breath.
Sorry to correct my mistake, this wrong as well.
It's best to refer to the anapanasati sutta to see how the breath is practice in regards to the four foundations of awareness,

"Whenever a mendicant knows that they breathe heavily, or lightly, or experiencing the whole body, or stilling the body’s motion—at that time they’re meditating by observing an aspect of the body—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world. For I say that the in-breaths and out-breaths are an aspect of the body. That’s why at that time a mendicant is meditating by observing an aspect of the body—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world.

Whenever a mendicant practices breathing while experiencing rapture, or experiencing bliss, or experiencing these emotions, or stilling these emotions—at that time they meditate observing an aspect of feelings—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world. For I say that close attention to the in-breaths and out-breaths is an aspect of feelings. That’s why at that time a mendicant is meditating by observing an aspect of feelings—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world.

Whenever a mendicant practices breathing while experiencing the mind, or gladdening the mind, or immersing the mind in samādhi, or freeing the mind—at that time they meditate observing an aspect of the mind—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world. There is no development of mindfulness of breathing for someone who is unmindful and lacks awareness, I say. That’s why at that time a mendicant is meditating by observing an aspect of the mind—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world.

Whenever a mendicant practices breathing while observing impermanence, or observing fading away, or observing cessation, or observing letting go—at that time they meditate observing an aspect of principles—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world. Having seen with wisdom the giving up of desire and aversion, they watch over closely with equanimity. That’s why at that time a mendicant is meditating by observing an aspect of principles—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world."
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Re: Best Guide for Breath Meditation For Beginners

Post by lavantien »

blo0mz wrote: Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:59 am Hello all,

Wondering where I can find a good guide or book with steps for breath meditation suitable for a beginner, who does not have access to a meditation center or in-person guidance.

Metta,
blo0mz
I will share you an approach for self-learning the Buddha's teaching and meditation from the ground up.

I think the suttas - the words of the Buddha himself will be your best bet because it's stripped of patchworks, the instructions in the suttas themselves are without secret, complete and perfect, as the Buddha said. The studying of suttas is essential whether you are a lay person or a bhikkhu. Having firm knowledge in the suttas then you should see advice of venerable bhikkhus and research about abhidhamma and commentary materials (like Visuddhimagga, Vimuttimagga, ...), because certain ways of translation of a word, the context, and their valuable personal experience can have a big impact on whether your practice having any progress or get stuck, such as this explanation of the word samadhi by ven. Nyanamoli.

On preliminary practices:
- Know how to handle your responsibilities and relationships as a lay person: DN 31
- Develop your generosity: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dha ... index.html
- Strictly keeping 5 precepts: AN 8.39, AN 8.40, AN 5.179
- Observe 8 precepts on Uposatha days and develop 6 recollections to further push your meditation: AN 3.70
- Have a general idea of how a ideal approach would look like (avoid the slightest faults, guarding the sense doors, eating in moderation, dedicate to wakefulness, constantly weaken and remove 5 hindrances days and nights, ...): MN 51, MN 107, DN 1
...

On maintaining the Path:
- The intertwine of Noble Eightfold Path: MN 117
- The detail analysis of Right View: MN 9
- The detail analysis of Jhana: AN 5.28
- The detail analysis of Six Sense Fields: MN 137, MN 140, MN 148
- The detail analysis of Dependent Origination: DN 15
- Food of Hindrances and Food of Awakening Factors: SN 46.51, SN 46.51 analysis
- The goal of Stream Entry: SN 55
...

On the method:
- The main sutta: MN 118
- The supplementary suttas: SN 54
- The relate suttas - on Satipathana: MN 119, MN 10, SN 47
- Method to not falling asleep while meditate: AN 7.61
- Method to handle trash thoughts: MN 20
...

As you can see, meditation as intended by the Buddha must accompanied by the whole Noble Eightfold Path and have clear goal of ending the suffering filled cycle of repeated birth and death, contradict to what being advertised nowaday as a secular method or a business model to reduce stress or further involve in social issues where the essential parts of the Buddha's teaching are being stripped off and reinterpreted. As the Buddha said once fake Dhamma appears the true Dhamma will decline as if when fake gold become popular then people will not respect the real gold anymore.

The Path is not as easy as it first seems, it is a lifetime commitment, you have to put great faith, confident, effort, dedication, diligent to learn and to practice, and also have to wisely balance your lay life.

It may takes years for you to be self-sufficient in the Dhamma. So be diligent, keep learning the Buddha's teaching and happy practicing.
"Then the Teacher, being sympathetic, and having compassion for the whole world,
said to me, “Come, monk!” That was my ordination.
Staying alone in the wilderness, meditating tirelessly,
I have completed what the Teacher taught, just as the victor advised me.

In the first watch of the night, I recollected my past lives.
In the middle watch of the night, I purified my clairvoyance.
In the last watch of the night, I shattered the mass of darkness."
- KN Thag 12.2
Caodemarte
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Re: Best Guide for Breath Meditation For Beginners

Post by Caodemarte »

If you want to explore breath practice in early Buddhism "Mindfulness of Breathing: A Practice Guide and Translations"
by Bhikkhu Anālayo is very good. However, as in any form of mediation, you need to maturely self monitor your practice.

The accompanying mediation instruction audios are freely given and available at many places including the publisher (https://www.windhorsepublications.com/m ... ing-audio/).
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Re: Best Guide for Breath Meditation For Beginners

Post by lavantien »

blo0mz wrote: Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:59 am
To supplement my previous respond.

In MN 62, the Buddha advises Rahula to develop certain skills first before delving into breath meditation.
"Then the Teacher, being sympathetic, and having compassion for the whole world,
said to me, “Come, monk!” That was my ordination.
Staying alone in the wilderness, meditating tirelessly,
I have completed what the Teacher taught, just as the victor advised me.

In the first watch of the night, I recollected my past lives.
In the middle watch of the night, I purified my clairvoyance.
In the last watch of the night, I shattered the mass of darkness."
- KN Thag 12.2
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