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How to develop metta/ loving kindness towards breath? - Dhamma Wheel

How to develop metta/ loving kindness towards breath?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
David2
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How to develop metta/ loving kindness towards breath?

Postby David2 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:20 am

Ajahn Brahm recommends in his book (collection of talks) "Simply this moment" to develop loving kindness towards the breath.

However, he does not mention how.

There are lots of instructions of how to develop loving kindness towards people (towards yourself, your relatives, friends, enemies and all living beings.)

But how to develop loving kindness towards objects that are no living beings?

I does not make sense to recite: "May the breath always be happy", or does it? :tongue:

PeterB
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Re: How to develop metta/ loving kindness towards breath?

Postby PeterB » Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:33 am

Sounds whimsical to me to be quite honest. We can develop softness of the eyes, and less emphatic breathing by relaxing a little . We can at times loosen our identity with the breath, not see it as " ours".
But metta towards the breath sounds like typical Bettsian whimsy.

Sylvester
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Re: How to develop metta/ loving kindness towards breath?

Postby Sylvester » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:11 am


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reflection
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Re: How to develop metta/ loving kindness towards breath?

Postby reflection » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:25 am

Hi David,

:namaste:
I use this and it does really help. But I personally found it is not that useful to do before the thoughts are mostly quiet. You must be careful not to make too much effort when doing this or it will be counterproductive imo. So preferably no reciting when you are doing breath meditation, just try to call upon the feeling of loving kindness without words. It also gives rise to joy which is very helpful. If you can not call upon the feeling like that, maybe try some more separate practice. Loving kindness -when developed- does not really depend on what you focus it on. It can be people, it can be animals but also the breath, towards the meditation.

My 2 cents. I hope it helps.

With metta,
Reflection

PeterB
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Re: How to develop metta/ loving kindness towards breath?

Postby PeterB » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:36 am

What you are describing is a positive mind state. A mind state that is predisposed towards metta.
That is somewhat removed in my understanding from directing metta to the breath.

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daverupa
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Re: How to develop metta/ loving kindness towards breath?

Postby daverupa » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:39 am

Is it the case that "anapanametta" fulfills satipatthana?

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Gregor
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Re: How to develop metta/ loving kindness towards breath?

Postby Gregor » Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:18 pm

Hi guys,
I'm not well established in theory but I would say that loving-kindness doesn't necessarily only mean feeling of love, warmth etc. towards somebody or something. Loving-kindness (metta) means also equanimity. And that is how I would apply it to breath and breathing meditation. What do I mean by that?

When we practice Anapana (mindfulness of breathing) we focus on breath, however our thoughts go other way. Than we return our attention to breath. And lose it again. In that process of loosing focus and reestablishing it we develop some sort of aversion towards breath. But if we apply equanimity, or metta as you've put it, towards breathing, the aversion will go away.

This is just my interpretation.

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Cittasanto
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Re: How to develop metta/ loving kindness towards breath?

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:54 am

Ajahn Sumedho uses the phrase 'not dwelling in avarsion' to describe Metta, so just allow the breath to be how the breath is!


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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daverupa
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Re: How to develop metta/ loving kindness towards breath?

Postby daverupa » Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:42 am


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BlackBird
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Re: How to develop metta/ loving kindness towards breath?

Postby BlackBird » Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:58 am

Interesting topic. There's a sutta in the Samyutta Nikaya, perhaps Vedana samyutta or perhaps bojanga samyutta that discusses applying metta to the 7 factors of enlightenment. I'll try and hunt it out. I think it's safe to say that metta is a serious curiosity of Dhamma, something that intrigues us all, but ultimately (thus far) has eluded our attempts to understand it in it's entirety.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -

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bodom
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Re: How to develop metta/ loving kindness towards breath?

Postby bodom » Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:05 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

rowyourboat
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Re: How to develop metta/ loving kindness towards breath?

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:43 pm

Would making the breath 'interesting' make it a sensual experience - hence to be avoided? :stirthepot:
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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manas
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Re: How to develop metta/ loving kindness towards breath?

Postby manas » Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:58 am

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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Cittasanto
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Re: How to develop metta/ loving kindness towards breath?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:53 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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daverupa
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Re: How to develop metta/ loving kindness towards breath?

Postby daverupa » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:31 pm


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manas
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Re: How to develop metta/ loving kindness towards breath?

Postby manas » Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:37 pm

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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Cittasanto
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Re: How to develop metta/ loving kindness towards breath?

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:51 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.


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