How to develop metta/ loving kindness towards 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.
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manas
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Re: How to develop metta/ loving kindness towards breath?

Post by manas » Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:37 pm

daverupa wrote:
Manapa wrote:If you are actively allowing the breath to be as it is, you are actively applying an antidote to aversion! you aren't allowing yourself to dwell in an unhappy place.
It seems anapanametta is unnecessary, then.
Hi daverupa,
If you don't ever experience ill-will towards the breath, then it's unnecessary. But if, like myself, you find yourself occasionally bored during meditation, and it becomes an effort to keep the mind on the object - then metta can help greatly. In my experience, under boredom lies hankering for more than what is, and if we just keep going in the meditation, not giving in to the hankering for 'something more exciting', ill-will can arise. The mind wants more, and you won't give it - :x ... It is in just this place - the 'wanting more than what is' - that I gently apply acceptance of the breath as it is, giving it 'permission' (as it were) to be whatever it is in this moment. I can't fully explain why this then feels like metta, but it does.

It's like dropping my resistance to the breath. Not asking it to be exciting, or interesting, or anything other than just what it is. Agreeing to 'just observe'. At those moments, I've discovered that, just as in life if we focus on the faults of others, and blame them for us becoming miserable when we have unavoidable dealings with them, we later realize that the fault actually lies with ourselves, with our unrealistic expectations or perfectionism. People are the way they are - and we can't correct their faults for them, especially not with aversion! But we can apply patience...in this analogy, the 'faults' stand for what is annoying us about the breath, perhaps that it's 'boring'. Well the fault doesn't lie with the breath, but with our own minds, see what I mean? The breath is just a part of Nature, like the rest of our body. We can't force it to fit our expectations.

It's hard to tease apart the different mental factors in operation here. There is equanimity, effort, loving-kindness...but we don't need to analyze it like that, I feel. If the aim is, 'to have the mind resting in the breath, without aversion' - when I find something that works to achieve this - I use it.

:anjali:
From what's dear is born grief,
from what's dear is born fear.
For one freed from what's dear
there's no grief
— so how fear?


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Cittasanto
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Re: How to develop metta/ loving kindness towards breath?

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:51 am

manasikara wrote:
daverupa wrote:
Manapa wrote:If you are actively allowing the breath to be as it is, you are actively applying an antidote to aversion! you aren't allowing yourself to dwell in an unhappy place.
It seems anapanametta is unnecessary, then.
Hi daverupa,
If you don't ever experience ill-will towards the breath, then it's unnecessary. But if, like myself, you find yourself occasionally bored during meditation, and it becomes an effort to keep the mind on the object - then metta can help greatly. In my experience, under boredom lies hankering for more than what is, and if we just keep going in the meditation, not giving in to the hankering for 'something more exciting', ill-will can arise. The mind wants more, and you won't give it - :x ... It is in just this place - the 'wanting more than what is' - that I gently apply acceptance of the breath as it is, giving it 'permission' (as it were) to be whatever it is in this moment. I can't fully explain why this then feels like metta, but it does.

It's like dropping my resistance to the breath. Not asking it to be exciting, or interesting, or anything other than just what it is. Agreeing to 'just observe'. At those moments, I've discovered that, just as in life if we focus on the faults of others, and blame them for us becoming miserable when we have unavoidable dealings with them, we later realize that the fault actually lies with ourselves, with our unrealistic expectations or perfectionism. People are the way they are - and we can't correct their faults for them, especially not with aversion! But we can apply patience...in this analogy, the 'faults' stand for what is annoying us about the breath, perhaps that it's 'boring'. Well the fault doesn't lie with the breath, but with our own minds, see what I mean? The breath is just a part of Nature, like the rest of our body. We can't force it to fit our expectations.

It's hard to tease apart the different mental factors in operation here. There is equanimity, effort, loving-kindness...but we don't need to analyze it like that, I feel. If the aim is, 'to have the mind resting in the breath, without aversion' - when I find something that works to achieve this - I use it.

:anjali:
I could not say more!
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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