Thanissaro Bikkhu and manipulation of the breath

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
User avatar
Posts: 460
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:14 am

Re: Thanissaro Bikkhu and manipulation of the breath

Post by Kamran »

Thanissaro Bikhu points out that depending on what state of mind you are in you may need to breath differently.

For instance, it is helpful sometimes to push the breath. Breathing unnaturally deep for a few minutes at the start is helpful to reset yourself in some cases. You have to experiment and figure out what type of breath you need.

Also, keep in mind Thanissaro Bikhu defines the breath as the energy flow in the body, so if you focus your awareness on your hands you can feel an energy and they will probably even tingle. When you breath in you can feel the whole body breathing in, not just from the nose, but through the skin.

It took me a while to understand and experience what he meant by "breath energy". At first, I started to visualize/imagine the breath going to different parts of the body, but then became sensitive to the energy on a particular body part or throughout the body simply by shifting my awareness to that spot and no longer need to visualize.

I have found that whole body awareness/breath energy as taught by Thanissaro Bikhu is the most effective method for maintaining mindfulness when I am at work throughout the day.
"Silence gives answers"

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi
Posts: 637
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:14 pm

Re: Thanissaro Bikkhu and manipulation of the breath

Post by Bakmoon »

tiltbillings wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
tiltbillings wrote:What exactly is "easeful breathing?"
He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'
Yes, but what is the actual practice of this?
I am by no means qualified to give pronouncements on the issue, but since I am a fan and listen to a lot of the Ven. Thanissaro's talks, I'll give it my best shot at explaining it.

In a lot of talks he talks about adjusting the breath, or experimenting with it. The way I understand it is that breathing has sort of a two dimensional spectrum, one of long breath vs. short breath, and the other being deep breath vs. shallow breath. All you do is you try out diferent combinations of the two (that is, deep long breath, short long breath, shallow long breath, and shallow short breath, and of course various intermediate positions) until you find one that feels comfortable, and just breathe that way for a while.

That's about the best way I can explain it. I hope that sheds some light on the matter.

With Mettta,
Bakmoon :anjali:
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: Thanissaro Bikkhu and manipulation of the breath

Post by danieLion »

danieLion wrote:Re: ENERGY. The notion of the breath as energy is extremely optimistic. When scientists started thinking in terms of energy and not just "matter", the scientific world bloomed with new discoveries. As with the breath. When we think of it as energy, we are adopting a realistic attitude about breathing, and the discoveries start to blossom.
In beginning of this talk" onclick=";return false;

Joseph Goldstein says humans are essentially "energy systems."
Post Reply