Thread: Concentrating on the Breath

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    Concentrating on the Breath

    Greetings,

    I am looking for some guidance on how to focus on the breath when meditating. I have read the first chapter of 'Finding the missing peace' and I'm going with its recommendation to just start meditating with focus on the breath before you start anything else.

    http://www.amaravati.org/dhamma-book...st-meditation/

    It sounds silly but I don't really understand. When I do it, I count the seconds when I breath in and out.

    What are people's experiences with this? I realise that I should not be using other people's experiance with my own.

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    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Hi Andy

    The most basic goal is to know when the body is (naturally) breathing in & to know when the body is (naturally) breathing out; that is, to know when the breath is entering into (& moving within) the body and to know when the breath is exiting the body. The books says:

    Probably the most commonly used, accessible, and helpful focus of meditation practice is the simple rhythm of the breath. The point [purpose] of a meditation object is to help bring attention to the present.
    The counting technique is merely a method to keep the mind preoccupied with observing the breathing (rather than have the mind distracted thinking about other things). However, once the mind can settle down without distracted thinking, the counting method can be dropped. The book says:

    By focusing on the breath, using that simple natural feeling as a focal point or an anchor for the attention, a blend of ever-present simplicity and peacefulness imbues the mind. When the mind begins to settle on the breath, when there’s more of a quality of focus, one can be less forced or rigid about it. But in the beginning, one must pick up the attention and place it consciously on the breath.
    The counting technique can be used in different ways, such as:

    1. Counting a number for each in & out breath; such as 1 for breathing in & out; 2 for the next breathing in & out; up to 10; then start again.

    or

    2. Counting a number for the in-breath then counting the same number for the out-breath, such as: 1 on the in-breath and 1 on the out-breath; then 2 -2; 3 -3; 4 - 4, etc, up to 10 -10.

    If the mind wanders off, patiently bring the mind back to the breathing and start again at number 1.

    Regards

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    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Thanissaro Bhikkhu is a superlative teacher of breath meditation. He makes the mechanical, organic, and context is always emphasised.





    with metta

    _/\_ image

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    This is great guidance and is much appreciated. I look forward to putting this into practice.

  6. #6
    Forums Member Brandon's Avatar
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    Hello Andy, I have found it useful to focus on the feeling of the air entering and exiting until my mind feels clear and positive. If meditating for the purpose of relaxation (as opposed to a specific concept or subject) I will then visualize my consciousness expanding or lifting. In my experience, it may take twenty minutes to get in the zone, but once I am ,I no longer focus on the breath as my mind has stopped "wondering". Sometimes I will experience unusual but very pleasant physical sensations as well.Just my experience, you may find a technique that works better for you! Have fun and good luck

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