Wrong way to practice Anapanasati.

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SarathW
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Wrong way to practice Anapanasati.

Post by SarathW » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:25 am

Wrong way to practice Anapanasati.
According to Patisamvhidamagga there are eighteen kinds of knowledge of imperfection (page 165).
It appears the following two are imperfections even though some teachers recommend it.
Please discuss.

1)When he goes in with mindfulness after the beginning, middle and end of the in-breath, his cognizance being distracted internally, both his body and his cognizance are disquieted, perturbed and excited.

2)When he goes out with mindfulness after the beginning, middle and end of the out-breath, his cognizance being distracted internally, both his body and his cognizance are disquieted, perturbed and excited.

https://centrebouddhistetheravada.files ... namoli.pdf
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budo
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Re: Wrong way to practice Anapanasati.

Post by budo » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:37 am

It's just the hindrance of restlessness. You are not practicing wrongly, you just need to be aware of the hindrance and return to the breath. As far as I know, no teachers recommend being excited.

If you are referring to following the breath inside the body, yes that does lead to wavering and shaking of the body. This is why the Buddha used the simile of the guard at the gate, you don't follow the people entering the city, you just see who comes in and out.

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DooDoot
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Re: Wrong way to practice Anapanasati.

Post by DooDoot » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:47 am

budo wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:37 am
the Buddha used the simile of the guard at the gate, you don't follow the people entering the city, you just see who comes in and out.
Where? Please quote. Thanks
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SarathW
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Re: Wrong way to practice Anapanasati.

Post by SarathW » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:05 am

Where? Please quote. Thanks
It seems he mixed up two Sutta's.
I am not sure how to apply this two sutta to my question.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
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budo
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Re: Wrong way to practice Anapanasati.

Post by budo » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:41 am

Actually, the simile of the gatekeeper following the breath/person comes from the Vissuddhimagga, but the simile of the saw (focusing only on the nose-tip, and not the moving of the saw) comes from the Patisambidhamagga. The meditation book by Ajahn Sona says the Buddha said the Gatekeeper simile, but I can't find the sutta for it. There are many suttas where the Buddha uses a gatekeeper and walled-city simile for different meanings like 5 hinderances, mindfulness, etc..

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_anicca_
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Re: Wrong way to practice Anapanasati.

Post by _anicca_ » Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:26 pm

My interpretation of this is to be aware of the whole breath body, but not to take the beginning, middle, and end of the breath body as your meditation subject.

The contact of the breath as a whole is the meditation object.
"A virtuous monk, Kotthita my friend, should attend in an appropriate way to the five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self."

:buddha1:

http://vipassanameditation.asia

SarathW
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Re: Wrong way to practice Anapanasati.

Post by SarathW » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:10 pm

My interpretation of this is to be aware of the whole breath body
Agree.
This was the instruction form Ven Kumara Kassapa which was in Sinhalese language.
The question is what is breath body.
There are many bodies mentioned. Material body, feeling body, Sankhara body etc.
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budo
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Re: Wrong way to practice Anapanasati.

Post by budo » Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:22 am

I think the interpretation is the one of chasing/following the breath outside the nose area as it gives this poem. As chasing the breath makes you fatigued just like the poem says. This poem refers to the first 6 imperfections

Mindfulness running after in-breath
And running after out-breath, too,
Expecting distraction inwardly,
Loving distraction outwardly,
The longing for out-breath in one
Who is by in-breath much fatigued,
The longing for in-breath in one
Who is by out-breath much fatigued;
These six defects in concentration
Based upon mindfulness of breathing
Are such as will prevent release
Of cognizance that they distract;
And those who know not liberation
Perforce must trust in others' words.


Also the next poem which covers the next 6 imperfections says you shouldn't look at the nimitta if you can still feel or note the breath. And also that you should only focus on one part of the breath at a time. So focus on in-breath, then out-breath, when both in-breath and out-breath are gone, focus on nimitta.

Adverting to the sign the while the mind
Is still distracted by in-breath;
Adverting to in-breath while cognizance
Can still be shaken by the sign;
Adverting to the sign the while the mind
Is still distracted by out-breath;
Adverting to out-breath while cognizance
Can still be shaken by the sign;
Adverting to in-breath the while the mind
Is still distracted by out-breath;
Adverting to out-breath while cognizance
Can still be shaken by in-breath:
These six defects in concentration
Based upon mindfulness of breathing
Are such as will prevent release
Of cognizance that they can shake;
And those who know not liberation
Perforce must trust in others' words.


The question I have is, is it seems like it's saying you should note (cognizance) at the end of the breath instead of during the breath, so you breath in, note (e.g. long), breath out, note (e.g. short), see my coloring above
---

The next 6 imperfections are the 5 hindrances + thinking about past/future in regards to the breath, which is also chasing the breath. And also that shaking and distracting the cognizance prevents higher cognizance because these imperfections "stain his thought".



The viewing of each in-breath and out-breath separately, as well as not looking at the nimitta until the breaths are gone is confirmed by this poem

Sign, in-breath, out-breath, are not object
Of a single cognizance;
One knowing not these three ideas
Does not obtain development. [171]
Sign,in-breath, out-breath,
are not object
Of a single cognizance;
One knowing well these three ideas
Can then obtain development.

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budo
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Re: Wrong way to practice Anapanasati.

Post by budo » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:31 am

Edit: I tested out the theory I bolded above:
The question I have is, is it seems like it's saying you should note (cognizance) at the end of the breath instead of during the breath, so you breath in, note (e.g. long), breath out, note (e.g. short), see my coloring above
And noting at the end of the breath is too strenuous for me so I don't think that's what it means. Perhaps it means either be aware of the breath or the nimitta and stick to one, and not both.

Also I'd like to add that I got to access concentration very quickly with the above tips from the poems, my breath nearly disappeared but I had windows open and I live in a noisy area with loud annoying students and a very busy road with loud trucks. So noise is a huge pain in the ass because when the breath is extremely subtle then noise is a huge distraction. Can't wait to leave this area.
Then the thought occurred to the venerable ones: “These many very well-known Licchavis—racing after one another in auspicious vehicles, making a shrill noise, a great noise—are plunging into the Great Forest to see the Blessed One. Now, the jhānas are said by the Blessed One to be thorned by noise.

What if we were to go to the Gosiṅga Sāla forest park? There we would live comfortably, with next-to-no noise, next-to-no crowding.’ So those venerable ones went to Gosiṅga Sāla forest park. There they are living comfortably, with next-to-no noise, next-to-no crowding.”

“Very good, monks, very good—what those great disciples, rightly declaring, have declared, for the jhānas have been said by me to be thorned by noise.
- AN 10.72

After many hours in jhanas, I despise noise with a passion

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DooDoot
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Re: Wrong way to practice Anapanasati.

Post by DooDoot » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:43 am

budo wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:22 am
As chasing the breath makes you fatigued .
There is a difference between: (i) volitionally "chasing" the breath and (ii) the mind non-voliitionally/naturally/automatically experiencing/tracking the sensation of the breath from nose to abdomen. If the meditator "goes in with intention (not mindfulness) chasing after the beginning, middle and end of the in-breath", yes, this is craving, an imperfection & a hindrance to clear cognizance.
budo wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:22 am
I think the interpretation is the one of chasing/following the breath outside the nose area as it gives this poem.
I think volitionally "chasing" the breath must be distinguished from non-volitionally "following" the breath. Without "following" the breath, there is little or no vipassana. Stage 3 of Anapanasati must have vipassana because Stage 3 includes the phrase: "He trains himself".
budo wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:41 am
focusing only on the nose-tip
This is also craving, also an imperfection and also a hindrance.
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Volovsky
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Re: Wrong way to practice Anapanasati.

Post by Volovsky » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:44 am

SarathW wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:25 am
1)When he goes in with mindfulness after the beginning, middle and end of the in-breath, his cognizance being distracted internally, both his body and his cognizance are disquieted, perturbed and excited.
As far as I remember this means observing different parts of the body: nostrils - beginning, heart area - middle, belly - end (for in-breath, for out-breath is other way around). So, one should focus on one spot.

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DooDoot
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Re: Wrong way to practice Anapanasati.

Post by DooDoot » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:46 am

Volovsky wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:44 am
SarathW wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:25 am
1)When he goes in with mindfulness after the beginning, middle and end of the in-breath, his cognizance being distracted internally, both his body and his cognizance are disquieted, perturbed and excited.
As far as I remember this means observing different parts of the body: nostrils - beginning, heart area - middle, belly - end (for in-breath, for out-breath is other way around). So, one should focus on one spot.
Imo, the imperfection is highlighted in red colour, namely, to "chase" the breath with deliberate active volition or applied thought (rather than merely let the mind be aware of breath in whichever way the breath naturally is). Similar to Budo, you appear to be going from one extreme to another extreme. The mind should not "focus" on any spot. The mind should simply "let go" ("vossagga"), as the Buddha taught in the Anapanasati Sutta.
There is the case where a monk develops mindfulness as a factor for awakening relying on/by means of seclusion, relying on/by means of dispassion, relying on/by means of cessation, maturing in relinquishment (vossagga).

Anapanasati Sutta
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Volovsky
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Re: Wrong way to practice Anapanasati.

Post by Volovsky » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:27 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:46 am
Imo, the imperfection is highlighted in red colour, namely, to "chase" the breath with deliberate active volition or applied thought (rather than merely let the mind be aware of breath in whichever way the breath naturally is).
Whatever is the case, I think these "imperfections" are imperfections only in the advanced stage of practice, when one gets close to jhāna. For 'ordinary' people it's perfectly fine to follow and chase whatever one wants as long as it helps to stay with the breath and to calm down the mind.

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budo
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Re: Wrong way to practice Anapanasati.

Post by budo » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:11 pm

Volovsky wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:44 am
SarathW wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:25 am
1)When he goes in with mindfulness after the beginning, middle and end of the in-breath, his cognizance being distracted internally, both his body and his cognizance are disquieted, perturbed and excited.
As far as I remember this means observing different parts of the body: nostrils - beginning, heart area - middle, belly - end (for in-breath, for out-breath is other way around). So, one should focus on one spot.
The Agama version of Anapanasati uses the nose

“Rāhula, suppose there is a bhikṣu who is happy being alone in quietude. In a secluded place, he corrects his body, corrects his intention, and sits cross-legged. Without any other thoughts, he fastens his mind on the tip of his nose."

https://suttacentral.net/ea17.1/en/pierquet

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DooDoot
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Re: Wrong way to practice Anapanasati.

Post by DooDoot » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:22 pm

budo wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:11 pm
The Agama version of Anapanasati uses the nose
Agama have many versions of MN 118 and I only recall reading one that even close slightly close to MN 118 (which said step 3 was experiencing "many types of breath"). Regardless, the Agama are very belated and exhibit historical contemporary views that exhibit a decline in understanding. MN 118 includes the phrase: "experiencing sabba-kaya", explained as follows:
I tell you, monks, that this — the in-&-out breath — is classed as a body (kaya) among (other) bodies (kaya)....

MN 118
Step 3 is similar in the structure to step 7 (called experiencing citta-sankhara) however step 3 is not called "experiencing kaya-sankhara" (how the breathing conditions the physical body) because it also includes experiencing how the quality of mind conditions the breathing. According to MN 118 and the suttas, there are three kaya: (i) physical body kaya; (ii) breath kaya; & (iii) nama-kaya (mind). To clearly experience the interrelationship between mind, breath & body is the vipassana of step 3.

As posted, step 3 must include "training" in higher morality, higher mind (concentration) and higher wisdom. The later day idea found in Agama and Theravada commentaries that "sabba-kaya" means "whole body" or "whole breath" or "beginning-middle-end" of breath reduces step 3 to merely training in concentration.

MN 118 introduces step 3 and each later step with the phrase: "He trains himself". This phrase is not found in steps 1 and 2 because steps 1 and 2 are only training in basic concentration. "He trains himself" must include vipassana (seeing clearly) cause-&-effect and/or the three characteristics.
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