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the long breath - Dhamma Wheel

the long 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.
Freawaru
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the long breath

Postby Freawaru » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:08 pm


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mikenz66
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Re: the long breath

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:41 pm

Welcome Freawaru! :hello:

In my understanding, most Theravada teachers (and the Commentary, see , I believe) interpret what you quote as being aware of the nature of the breath (whether it happens to be short, long, etc) not controlling it. However, Ven Thanissaro's teachers seemed to teach a certain amount of control, so some of his discussions on Access to Insight might be in the style you are wanting. e.g. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... thmed.html

The "body" thing is also contested. The Commentary takes it as "body of the breath" i.e. being aware of the beginning, middle, and end of the breath. Some teachers think of it as being aware of the whole (physical) body while breathing.

Metta
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IanAnd
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Re: the long breath

Postby IanAnd » Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:09 pm

"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

Freawaru
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Re: the long breath

Postby Freawaru » Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:30 pm


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Dmytro
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Re: the long breath

Postby Dmytro » Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:43 pm



Freawaru
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Re: the long breath

Postby Freawaru » Sun Nov 15, 2009 4:38 pm


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Dmytro
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Re: the long breath

Postby Dmytro » Sun Nov 15, 2009 6:04 pm



Freawaru
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Re: the long breath

Postby Freawaru » Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:38 pm


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Cittasanto
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Re: the long breath

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:57 pm

hi,
there is more before the breath you know :tongue:
but anyway, your interpretation does have some validity although the standard interpretation is watching the breath as it is and simply knowing the breath as it is, as has already been pointed out Thanissaro teaches some control is useful, knowing or letting the body know (don't mean we tell it what todo but allow it to know what to do without our interferance which prevents its knowing and self reliance) what it needs is a more midde ground than the strictly watching itor controlling it interpretations.
we are constantly controlling the body through different means, we concoct a frigtaning, or arousing thought and the heart races (causing stress), lyedown in parculiar postures and then complain when our joints freeze up (over stressed) attending to the wrong thought (stress) do it to much and a breakdown may happen (stress to over stressed), allow thing to be as they are but watch where problems could arise and alter the method to negate the problem before it arises, or after it starts to arise, then control isn't used and knowing the body is fully brought about.


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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mikenz66
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Re: the long breath

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:08 am


Freawaru
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Re: the long breath

Postby Freawaru » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:10 pm


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Dmytro
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Re: the long breath

Postby Dmytro » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:22 am



meindzai
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Re: the long breath

Postby meindzai » Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:41 pm

I think this thread revolves around the argument of whether suttas like the Satipatthana and Anapanasati are intended to describe "steps" or whether they are describing different aspects of meditation .

Anapanasati to me seems to follow a progression from basic awareness to release. If that's the case, "step one" then involves the long breath. I've never been 100% convinced by the argument that we weren't meant to control the breath, honestly. I do think that HOW you control it can make a big difference. A long breath need not be the forced and labored sort of breath that the teacher tells you to take in your yoga class. (I never listen to them anyway) You can induce a long breath with a minimal amount of effort and by focusing the breath in the belly, and by fully releasing the air in the lungs. It will come pretty naturally. I'm not saying this is what the Buddha is teaching, but I know that this is what happened in my early meditation experiences before I was told "oh no, we Buddhists don't do that yogi stuff!"

What I find is that deep breaths (induced as above) seem to be very clarifying and a great way to begin to settle into meditation. I don't do very many - sometimes none at all. But it seems to help if the mind and body are restless. I often do them at the beginning and may return to them if the need arises. Too many of them seems to raise the heart rate and cause anxiety and such things for me.

-M

Freawaru
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Re: the long breath

Postby Freawaru » Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:42 pm


Freawaru
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Re: the long breath

Postby Freawaru » Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:54 pm


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Cittasanto
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Re: the long breath

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:04 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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AdvaitaJ
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Re: the long breath

Postby AdvaitaJ » Fri Nov 20, 2009 1:53 am

Freawaru,

There was a thread somewhere about 'what would you say to the Buddha if you met him on the street' -- getting clarification on this issue is near the top of my list.

I've never tried explicitly slowing my breath because my "shifting the mind into neutral" always slowed and lengthened my breathing naturally. I've also found it feels quite natural for me to define the phrase "whole (breath) body" as the sensations throughout the area affected by the breathing -- i.e., the entire nose, throat, brachial passages, etc. For me, the initial concentration on the tip of the nostrils, etc, just flows naturally into a larger awareness of all the body parts involved, including the indirect motion through the shoulders, arms, etc.

With regards to literal whole-body awareness, I find it a fascinating object of observation. I used to trigger it while driving by focusing piece-by-piece on the contact of my clothing. I'd do a whole-body scan section by section deliberately sensing where my clothes make contact. By the time I had cycled through all the touch-points, it was usually pretty easy to morph into the whole-body awareness. These days, I find it easiest with my walking meditation.

Good thread! :thumbsup:

Regards: AdvaitaJ
The birds have vanished down the sky. Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.
Li Bai

Freawaru
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Re: the long breath

Postby Freawaru » Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:34 pm


Freawaru
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Re: the long breath

Postby Freawaru » Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:00 pm


Freawaru
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Re: the long breath

Postby Freawaru » Fri Nov 20, 2009 6:47 pm



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