Anapanasati meditation question

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
Dinsdale
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Re: Anapanasati meditation question

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:26 pm

alfaaa wrote: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.
I like Ajahn Brahm's approach with this, basically just pay attention to the experience of breathing, whatever that means for you at any one time. There is no need to get bogged down in technicalities, better to keep it simple and fresh.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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daverupa
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Re: Anapanasati meditation question

Post by daverupa » Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:49 pm

SarathW wrote:Hi Deve
*dave, short for david
Have you listen to Joseph Goldstein?
Nope.
LXNDR wrote:isn't it easier on the attention so it doesn't get dispersed and unstable, constantly leaping looking for a spot to settle?
The first steps - the ones that do not mention actual training, but just attention - surround a comparison of long vs. short. This ties mindfulness to the zone of this-breath-&-last-breath, and sets the stage for the first training step which involves being sensitive to the entire body.

I suppose we could call the first two steps awareness of 'just' the breath, but that's not quite accurate even this early: the awareness ought not be just of the breath, but of both (a) the direction in or out, and (b) the comparative length, and all of this at (c) any ol' place that accomplishes the task, such as the above examples.

That's the beginning of the body tetrad. Someone using the feelings tetrad might locate the breath, not necessarily at a physical spot, but as a phenomenological set that included sensitivity to inhale-exhale alongside sensitivity to rapture, or else alongside sensitivity to pleasure, etc. So, too, with the other aspects.

But once inhale-exhale can be noted, that part of the practice is simply accomplished: now, attend according to the tetrad being engaged with.

People sometimes seem to think that they need to practice a 'just breathing' exercise to build up to other sorts of meditations... but, the gradual training dictates satipatthana as this foundational exercise, so much so that anapanasati is patterned on it. So, if anapanasati is not making sense or if the mind is too bothersome to be brought to heel with the practice, one might be running ahead on the Path; take time to consolidate preceding foundations if next steps are causing difficulties.

Arittha's method does exist, and seems very popular, but it is incomplete.
  • "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]

dhammarelax
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Re: Anapanasati meditation question

Post by dhammarelax » Fri Jul 10, 2015 5:30 pm

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.
The sutta does not mention this, a usefull interpretation is: https://livingbreath.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/index/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Even if the flesh & blood in my body dry up, leaving just the skin, tendons, & bones, I will use all my human firmness, human persistence and human striving. There will be no relaxing my persistence until I am the first of my generation to attain full awakening in this lifetime. ed. AN 2.5

alfaaa
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Re: Anapanasati meditation question

Post by alfaaa » Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:52 am

daverupa wrote:
SarathW wrote:Hi Deve
*dave, short for david

Arittha's method does exist, and seems very popular, but it is incomplete.
What does buddha mean 'breathe in (and out) while focusing on rapture etc.'? :thinking:

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daverupa
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Re: Anapanasati meditation question

Post by daverupa » Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:27 pm

alfaaa wrote:What does buddha mean 'breathe in (and out) while focusing on rapture etc.'? :thinking:
The term means "experiencing rapture" alongside the breathing, "sensitive to rapture" alongside the breathing; not focusing on it.
  • "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]

Dinsdale
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Re: Anapanasati meditation question

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:04 pm

daverupa wrote:The term means "experiencing rapture" alongside the breathing, "sensitive to rapture" alongside the breathing; not focusing on it.
Yes, continuing attention on the breath provides continuity and acts as an "anchor" for the practice.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

alfaaa
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Re: Anapanasati meditation question

Post by alfaaa » Sun Jul 12, 2015 2:39 am

daverupa wrote:
alfaaa wrote:What does buddha mean 'breathe in (and out) while focusing on rapture etc.'? :thinking:
The term means "experiencing rapture" alongside the breathing, "sensitive to rapture" alongside the breathing; not focusing on it.
What does that mean? Does he mean rapture is always there and we have to experience it, or must we create it through breathing?

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daverupa
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Re: Anapanasati meditation question

Post by daverupa » Sun Jul 12, 2015 2:49 am

Rapture has a cause.

Rapture leads to tranquility and on to happiness, so if there is a suitable basis this chain can occur during anapanasati and leads straight into concentration (samadhi).

With respect to the instructions for anapanasati, one simply notes these in turn as one breathes right along and, noting them in comparison the way one is already used to doing with in-vs.-out breathing (and long vs. short breaths) the nature of coarse & refined mental fabrication generally comes into view, itself something to tranquilize and let go of, the way one brought the body generally into view, tranquilized it, and let go of it in the first tetrad.

The similarity of the tetrads is that they all use a given phenomenological set in order to facilitate grouping up, calming, & letting go, leading into jhana and, ideally, samma-samadhi.
  • "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 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 3:20 am

Can you explain rapture according to your own experience?
I can't differentiate gladness from rapture.
:thinking:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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daverupa
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Re: Anapanasati meditation question

Post by daverupa » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:04 am

Rapture is a static-y thrill that's similar to frisson, -ish. Like the first minutes of a heavy rain after a long hot and humid day.

Tranquility is the cool, overcast post-storm period. Gladness is a contented quiescence, an affable confidence.
  • "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]

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