Base breathing

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

Base breathing

Postby Beatzen » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:34 am

I am trying to get familiar and eased with the practice of breathing from the lower portion of my abdomen. When this technique seems to go well, it is very calming for the mind, and there is more of a sense that I am truly concentrating by allowing myself to breathe as I will- instead of breathing from the upper chest, which seems to require more effort and seems forced. Any input on how to proceed? My teacher is unavailable.
"Cause is not before and Effect is not after"
- Eihei Dogen Zenji
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Re: Base breathing

Postby Adamantine » Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:20 am

Beatzen wrote:I am trying to get familiar and eased with the practice of breathing from the lower portion of my abdomen. When this technique seems to go well, it is very calming for the mind, and there is more of a sense that I am truly concentrating by allowing myself to breathe as I will- instead of breathing from the upper chest, which seems to require more effort and seems forced. Any input on how to proceed? My teacher is unavailable.


In Vajrayana there are special techniques using the breath and energies of the body, some of which involve locking a union of winds in that area below the navel where the central channel begins it's ascent. This is known as the "small vase" breath. It is however quite another thing from the simple tan-tien breathing you're describing. However it has a very powerful purifying effect and calms the mind considerably. It therefore is known as "the yogi's best friend". But you probably want a Zen answer, which I can't comment on!
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Base breathing

Postby catmoon » Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:50 am

Just be mindful of the lower abdomen, under the navel. It should be moving freely, in a relaxed manner, outwards with each in breath. With just a little practice, the shoulders drop and relax, the diaphragm cease to labor, and there is a pleasant sensation of how good it is to breathe. That's all there is to it. Next stop, satori.
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Re: Base breathing

Postby Beatzen » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:31 pm

I've forgotten all about satori lately. It sounds odd, but I feel like I'm practicing with the Jhanas. Then again, I've been working on my ability to relax in my practice lately because I'm going through some rather stressfull things.
"Cause is not before and Effect is not after"
- Eihei Dogen Zenji
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Re: Base breathing

Postby catmoon » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:16 pm

Beatzen wrote:I've forgotten all about satori lately. It sounds odd, but I feel like I'm practicing with the Jhanas. Then again, I've been working on my ability to relax in my practice lately because I'm going through some rather stressfull things.


Jhana, satori, tomato, tomahto... worry about the diff when you get there, cuz when you do, you probably won't care what people call it.
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