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Focusing the Breath - Dhamma Wheel

Focusing 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.
sattva
Posts: 1248
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 10:07 pm

Focusing the Breath

Postby sattva » Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:07 pm

This is a question, especially for those who have practiced breath meditaion focusing on the nostrils and on the belly both. In Zen, it is considered best to focus on the belly (tanden, hara) because it helps to create joriki (energy) and groundedness in practice. From a Theravada perspective what do you consider to be the benefits and detriments of each? Is there any difference in your opinion?

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Ben
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Re: Focusing the Breath

Postby Ben » Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:35 pm

Hi Sattva

I've only praciced the samatha-variant of anapana-sati in the nostril area off-and-on for many years. I have a particular point of view and without the benefit of having practiced other variants. So, I'm unable to give you a comparison against other variants.
I would say that the main benefit of this form of anapana is that it gives, potentially, greater (more tightly focused) single-pointed concentration. I've always used this technique as a precursor to moving on to vedananupassana (observation of sensation) and the two techniques seem to have a symbiosis of function.
Practitioners of the Mahasi tradition who use anapana-sati with the awareness in the abdomen, use the technique as a form of vipassana practice and they develop sati via metta practice.
metta

Ben
“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

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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catmoon
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Re: Focusing the Breath

Postby catmoon » Sat Oct 31, 2009 5:40 am


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Collective
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Re: Focusing the Breath

Postby Collective » Sat Oct 31, 2009 8:18 am

Good question, this thread is very relevant to me right now. Thanks for asking it.

I have trouble with concentrating on the breath. I can hardly feel it at all. I commit the biggest mistake by roving all over from nostril, chest, abdomen and back again. I just can't seem to feel my breath after a while.

Also, someone said something about sensation/awareness. What I want to do is focus on emptiness, just being aware, just being. No breath focus, just keeping mindfullness of the holistic you and the holistic situation. I'm not sure if this is the way to go because the Buddah taught about using the breath. I don't want to reinvent the wheel to coin a phrase.

Awareness of awareness is just being aware of everything and anything. Thie thing is - when sensations arise, an itch, a pain etc, I don't acknowledge them with 'itch, itch,' or 'thinking, thinking', or similar, I ignore them. I just find it a contradiction to use the 'mind' to focus on the breath, in order to not use the mind.

Make sense?

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Ben
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Location: kanamaluka

Re: Focusing the Breath

Postby Ben » Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:11 am

Let's keep this thread focused on the OP's question, shall we?
“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

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Collective
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:12 am

Re: Focusing the Breath

Postby Collective » Sat Oct 31, 2009 3:14 pm


sattva
Posts: 1248
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 10:07 pm

Re: Focusing the Breath

Postby sattva » Sat Oct 31, 2009 6:42 pm

Thanks everyone for the input. _/l\_

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IanAnd
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Location: the deserts of Arizona

Re: Focusing the Breath

Postby IanAnd » Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:49 am

"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

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Ben
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Re: Focusing the Breath

Postby Ben » Sun Nov 15, 2009 7:55 pm

Dear members

Following my earlier reminder to keep posts on-topic, this is a reminder that off-topic posts are routinely removed without warning.
kind regards

Ben
“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

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Sanghamitta
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Re: Focusing the Breath

Postby Sanghamitta » Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:28 pm

The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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mikenz66
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Location: New Zealand

Re: Focusing the Breath

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:37 am


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Dmytro
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Re: Focusing the Breath

Postby Dmytro » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:55 am




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