Lost touch with breath

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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Myotai
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Lost touch with breath

Postby Myotai » Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:14 pm

Hi,

Just when I thought (no pun intended) I was getting somewhere in terms of nearing upacara-samadhi I've lost it.

I now find that I am sat in my room doing little else other than, well, sitting there. Great if I was practicing Shikantaza - but I am not.

Please refresh my memory and remind me how I managed to get that far. What am I doing wrong that dictates I now feel back to square one?

Effectively I am unable to 'find the breath' as it were. I have tried bearing in mind Ajahn Brahms advice "How do you know you're breathing"? But even then its all so elusive to me now.

:(

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Aloka
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Re: Lost touch with breath

Postby Aloka » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:01 pm

Hi Myotai,

Having a look at Ajahn Jayasaro's series of short "Buddhist Meditation" videos might be helpful. They range between approximately 3 and 8 minutes for each one.

https://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=768ACC9E7E2740DB


:anjali:

santa100
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Re: Lost touch with breath

Postby santa100 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:07 pm

There'll be a stage where the breath becomes so subtle that it's difficult to recognize the brushing sensation of the in-out breaths against the point of contact (the nostrils or the upper lips). In that case, one should just continue to maintain clear awareness at the point of contact. Refer to Ven. Buddhadasa's very detailed "Anapanasati" for more info.

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ryanM
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Re: Lost touch with breath

Postby ryanM » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:40 pm

I might recommend letting the mind tend towards the object it wants to. It's not like we can control it anyway. Anicca... anicca... anicca. It'll pick the breath back up when it's ready.

Best wishes,

Ryan
sabbe dhammā nālaṃ abhinivesāya

SarathW
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Re: Lost touch with breath

Postby SarathW » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:14 pm

I was getting somewhere in terms of nearing upacara-samadhi I've lost it.


Could you explain what upacara-samadhi means to you?
To me upachara-samadhi means right effort and right mindfulness.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Myotai
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Re: Lost touch with breath

Postby Myotai » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:58 pm

SarathW wrote:
I was getting somewhere in terms of nearing upacara-samadhi I've lost it.


Could you explain what upacara-samadhi means to you?
To me upachara-samadhi means right effort and right mindfulness.


It's always meant 'Access Concentration' to me.

Likely wrong tho!

pegembara
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Re: Lost touch with breath

Postby pegembara » Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:27 am

The breath is not the only object available. You can bring your attention to other sensations in the body.

http://www.pbs.org/thebuddha/blog/2010/ ... n-v-smith/
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

LuminousBliss
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Re: Lost touch with breath

Postby LuminousBliss » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:19 am

What you can do is actually control the breath, slowly inhale and slowly exhale, this way most of the time you will feel the sensations of the breath at the nostril, this way your mind gets really glued to the breath and have a much less chance getting lost in thoughts.
Experience Real Jhana Absorption
http://www.jhanabliss.com

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ganegaar
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Re: Lost touch with breath

Postby ganegaar » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:20 am

LuminousBliss wrote:What you can do is actually control the breath, slowly inhale and slowly exhale, this way most of the time you will feel the sensations of the breath at the nostril, this way your mind gets really glued to the breath and have a much less chance getting lost in thoughts.


Controlling breath is not the advice given in Anapanasati sutta. Please correct me if i am wrong, in Buddhist meditation, it is mere observation, without controlling.
In Anapanasati sutta, there is the intstruction "Passambayan kaaya sankhaaran", which is translated as "Calming the breadth body", and here again instruction is not to control the breath at all, but make a "wish", "may the breath be calm"!, while still passively observing the breath.
Sīlepatiṭṭhāya naro sapañño, cittaṃ paññañca bhāvayaṃ;
Ātāpī nipako bhikkhu, so imaṃ vijaṭaye jaṭanti.

LuminousBliss
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Re: Lost touch with breath

Postby LuminousBliss » Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:57 pm

ganegaar wrote:
LuminousBliss wrote:What you can do is actually control the breath, slowly inhale and slowly exhale, this way most of the time you will feel the sensations of the breath at the nostril, this way your mind gets really glued to the breath and have a much less chance getting lost in thoughts.


Controlling breath is not the advice given in Anapanasati sutta. Please correct me if i am wrong, in Buddhist meditation, it is mere observation, without controlling.
In Anapanasati sutta, there is the intstruction "Passambayan kaaya sankhaaran", which is translated as "Calming the breadth body", and here again instruction is not to control the breath at all, but make a "wish", "may the breath be calm"!, while still passively observing the breath.


What matters is that it works
Experience Real Jhana Absorption
http://www.jhanabliss.com

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mikenz66
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Re: Lost touch with breath

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:26 pm

ganegaar wrote:Controlling breath is not the advice given in Anapanasati sutta. Please correct me if i am wrong, in Buddhist meditation, it is mere observation, without controlling..

I don't see it stated in the Anapanasati sutta whether the breath should be controlled or not. Most Buddhist meditation approaches involve "just watching", but some, like Thanissaro Bhikkhu, advocate controlling the breath to make it comfortable.
It's all over his talks and writings, but here is a random example:
http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books11/Than ... tation.htm

I tend to agree with LuminousBliss here. Whatever works. The suttas don't give detailed instructions on "how to do it" in the sense of the above link, or this rather different approach from Ajahn Brahm: https://www.dhammaloka.org.au/files/pdf/Ajahn%20Brahm%20-%20The%20Basic%20Method%20of%20Meditation.pdf.They just describe how it's supposed to work once you get it right. Presumably, ancient practitioners, like now, took advice on the details from their teachers.

For a really extreme approach to the breath, check out Sun Lun Sayadaw!
http://dharmaseed.org/talks/?search=sunlun
http://www.sunlun-meditation.net/


:heart:
Mike

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ganegaar
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Re: Lost touch with breath

Postby ganegaar » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:33 pm

LuminousBliss wrote:What matters is that it works

But that would be against the advice given by Buddha, if controlling the breadth would have worked, would not Buddha have given the instructions in such a way?
I have read, controlling breath is a technique used by something called "Hatha Yoga" and the technique is called "Pranayaama", but that is a different path leading to a different goal.
Sīlepatiṭṭhāya naro sapañño, cittaṃ paññañca bhāvayaṃ;
Ātāpī nipako bhikkhu, so imaṃ vijaṭaye jaṭanti.

LuminousBliss
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Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:16 pm

Re: Lost touch with breath

Postby LuminousBliss » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:55 pm

ganegaar wrote:
LuminousBliss wrote:What matters is that it works

But that would be against the advice given by Buddha, if controlling the breadth would have worked, would not Buddha have given the instructions in such a way?
I have read, controlling breath is a technique used by something called "Hatha Yoga" and the technique is called "Pranayaama", but that is a different path leading to a different goal.


Every teacher gives different advice.

From my own experience I know controlling the breath when meditating on the breath works, there is no reason to go with advice given by Buddha if there is something else that works better for a practitioner.

would not Buddha have given the instructions in such a way?


There can be million of reasons why buddha didn't instruct to control the breath... since he isn't here to ask him it's kind of pointless.

In the end it's up to you to find what works best for you.
Experience Real Jhana Absorption
http://www.jhanabliss.com

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pink_trike
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Re: Lost touch with breath

Postby pink_trike » Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:58 am

Myotai wrote:Hi,

Just when I thought (no pun intended) I was getting somewhere in terms of nearing upacara-samadhi I've lost it.

I now find that I am sat in my room doing little else other than, well, sitting there. Great if I was practicing Shikantaza - but I am not.

Please refresh my memory and remind me how I managed to get that far. What am I doing wrong that dictates I now feel back to square one?

Effectively I am unable to 'find the breath' as it were. I have tried bearing in mind Ajahn Brahms advice "How do you know you're breathing"? But even then its all so elusive to me now.

:(


A simple way of reconnecting with the breathe is to narrowly focus all attention at the nostrils, specifically on the subtle physical sensations at the tip of the nostrils caused by air entering and leaving.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.


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