Anapanasati meditation question

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
lalindra
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Anapanasati meditation question

Post by lalindra » Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:33 am

Hello,

When doing anapanasathi meditation is it necessary to focus on areas of nostrils where the breath brushes through.Many meditation teaches advise to do this. I cant feel my breath touching my nostrils or any other part of the body but I can be aware of the in breath and out breath with out distractions. Is this enough to progress or do I need to change my meditation practice?

So basically my questions is, "is keeping awareness of the the breathing enough or should you always keep the mind focus on where the breath touches ?"

Thanks.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Anapanasati meditation question

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:53 am

lalindra wrote:Hello,

When doing anapanasathi meditation is it necessary to focus on areas of nostrils where the breath brushes through.Many meditation teaches advise to do this. I cant feel my breath touching my nostrils or any other part of the body but I can be aware of the in breath and out breath with out distractions. Is this enough to progress or do I need to change my meditation practice?

So basically my questions is, "is keeping awareness of the the breathing enough or should you always keep the mind focus on where the breath touches ?"

Thanks.
If you have a meditation teacher you can question, my advice would be to take this question to them. Failing that, I would go for the former option (i.e. keeping awareness on the breath in general) and then see if that calms the mind or otherwise changes things. You might find that if you do this, you can then pick up the touch of the breath at the nostrils or elsewhere. If you cannot feel the touch of the breath and want to continue with this style of practice, it would sem to be a good option for you.

SarathW
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Re: Anapanasati meditation question

Post by SarathW » Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:11 am

Please listen to this video from Bhante Vimalaramsi.

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=23855" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

lalindra
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Re: Anapanasati meditation question

Post by lalindra » Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:39 am

Thanks.

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Goofaholix
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Re: Anapanasati meditation question

Post by Goofaholix » Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:45 pm

If you are following a particular anapanasati based technique then you should refer to those instructions, many don’t specify exactly where the breath should be observed.

Otherwise ask yourself how do you know you are breathing, you should be able to find some physical evidence that breathing is happening (breath hard for a while if necessary), when you find it just start observing that.

Eventually you should be able to feel movement associated with the breath through mush of the body.

What you shouldn't do is imagine the breath.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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daverupa
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Re: Anapanasati meditation question

Post by daverupa » Sun Jun 14, 2015 10:42 pm

lalindra wrote:Hello,

When doing anapanasathi meditation is it necessary to focus on areas of nostrils where the breath brushes through.
Necessary? No.
I cant feel my breath touching my nostrils or any other part of the body but I can be aware of the in breath and out breath with out distractions.
So, if you're aware of the in-breath and out-breath, there's a way you know that - some body input from somewhere. So, attend there at first, and then later on consider the whole body while breathing, at your leisure, as things become easy.

Then, when breathing in and breathing out alongside an awareness of the body altogether, you can work on letting go of the body, getting out of it, so to speak.
Is this enough to progress or do I need to change my meditation practice?
It can be. There are a number of approaches; finding your own particular theme is like finding which musical instrument is the one most suited to your current attributes, and then tuning it well.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

lalindra
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Re: Anapanasati meditation question

Post by lalindra » Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:53 am

Thank you very much.

I really appreciate it.

manas
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Re: Anapanasati meditation question

Post by manas » Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:39 pm

lalindra wrote: So basically my questions is, "is keeping awareness of the the breathing enough or should you always keep the mind focus on where the breath touches ?"

Thanks.
In the relevant suttas, it is enjoined to simply know when you are breathing in, and out. No specific 'location' is specified so how you maintain that awareness might simply be up to you.

Ubhuti
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Re: Anapanasati meditation question

Post by Ubhuti » Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:45 pm

I have a follow up question regarding the progression of the stages in Anapanasati.

Does the mind naturally move through each stage or does one need to make a conscious judgement that it is time to move to the next step?

For example, when does one know to move from experiencing the body [of breath] to tranquillising the body [of breath] ? Does it just happen naturally as one focuses their attention the breath?

alfaaa
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Re: Anapanasati meditation question

Post by alfaaa » Thu Jul 09, 2015 5:59 pm

manas wrote:
lalindra wrote: So basically my questions is, "is keeping awareness of the the breathing enough or should you always keep the mind focus on where the breath touches ?"

Thanks.
In the relevant suttas, it is enjoined to simply know when you are breathing in, and out. No specific 'location' is specified so how you maintain that awareness might simply be up to you.
But if we're aware of in and out breaths, wouldn't the attention automatically go to nostrils or abdomen?

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daverupa
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Re: Anapanasati meditation question

Post by daverupa » Thu Jul 09, 2015 6:36 pm

alfaaa wrote:But if we're aware of in and out breaths, wouldn't the attention automatically go to nostrils or abdomen?
...or perhaps the chest, or the actual lungs, or the throat, or the skin as it brushes against the inside of one's clothing during the breath cycle...
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

alfaaa
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Re: Anapanasati meditation question

Post by alfaaa » Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:48 am

daverupa wrote:
alfaaa wrote:But if we're aware of in and out breaths, wouldn't the attention automatically go to nostrils or abdomen?
...or perhaps the chest, or the actual lungs, or the throat, or the skin as it brushes against the inside of one's clothing during the breath cycle...
Thats what i am saying. Every time we try to be aware of the breath we relate it to some body part. We cant be aware of the experience of breathing alone - the body part such as nostrils etc. are also involved. So how can one focus on the experience alone? Brahms says thats what we must do - not focus on nostrils or abdomen but only on the experience of breathing.

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daverupa
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Re: Anapanasati meditation question

Post by daverupa » Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:55 am

alfaaa wrote:Every time we try to be aware of the breath we relate it to some body part. We cant be aware of the experience of breathing alone - the body part such as nostrils etc. are also involved. So how can one focus on the experience alone?
Why do that? Where is this in the anapanasati instructions?
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

SarathW
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Re: Anapanasati meditation question

Post by SarathW » Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:12 am

Hi Deve
Have you listen to Joseph Goldstein?


http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/talk/6162/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

LXNDR
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Re: Anapanasati meditation question

Post by LXNDR » Fri Jul 10, 2015 12:02 pm

daverupa wrote:
alfaaa wrote:Every time we try to be aware of the breath we relate it to some body part. We cant be aware of the experience of breathing alone - the body part such as nostrils etc. are also involved. So how can one focus on the experience alone?
Why do that? Where is this in the anapanasati instructions?
isn't it easier on the attention so it doesn't get scattered and unstable, constantly leaping looking for a spot to settle?
Last edited by LXNDR on Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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