Shallow breathing

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

Shallow breathing

Postby Jesse » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:54 pm

Has anybody ever had trouble with their breathing becoming shallow as their meditation begins to deepen? I'm not sure how to explain it, except that I feel that I'm not getting enough air per breath.. and actively focusing on taking bigger breaths is distracting.

I have been looking up how to breath during meditation and I'm not sure how to make your body naturally breath differently than it does.. it's an automatic function isn't it? I have started practicing "Diaphragmatic breathing", but it doesn't happen automatically.. I have to make a conscious effort to breath this way and there seems to be a certain point where my meditation can't progress any further because of my breathing, is that makes sense to anyone.

I am actually a cigarette smoker and I know this may be the actual cause.. I know I need to quit.. but is it possible to practice deeper meditation while a smoker?

Thanks...
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Re: Shallow breathing

Postby catmoon » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:32 pm

It might be the smokes. I find a number of things help.

Try to avoid smoking on automatic. A lot of cigarettes get smoked when you don't even want one really.
Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
Do a little hiking on the weekends.
Don't have 4 in an hour and then try to meditate.
Get the hara moving correctly as you breathe.
Be sure your sitting position isn't collapsing.
Keep one eye on allergens.
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.
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Re: Shallow breathing

Postby dhamma_newb » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:59 pm

Hi ghost1,

Check out this thread.

I also experience moments of shallow breathing or even moments where I stop breathing during meditation. I keep my focus on the object of meditation and trust that my body will take care of itself.

Also, have you ever thought of switching to e-cigarettes? I know many smokers who have successfully quit smoking by using e-cigarettes. Volcano is a local company that has gotten many people where I live to quit smoking and they have locations all over the US.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Shallow breathing

Postby Jesse » Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:11 pm

Thanks catmoon,

I am a fairly heavy smoker. I will try cutting way back and see how much improvement there is. As far as exercise goes I really should be doing more of that anyway, haha .. but I can definitely see that helping.

I have not done much work on my sitting position or posture, I'll look into that too.

dhamma,

I have used them in the past.. unfortunately ecigarettes tend to increase my nicotine habit. (It's hard to determine just how much nicotine you are absorbing with them), but I have successfully quit in the past for a few months. I just need to do it again. :tantrum:

I keep my focus on the object of meditation and trust that my body will take care of itself.


I have began using my breath as my focus during meditation, it seems the best method for me..but at a certain point, as my breathing starts to become more automatic -I find the lack of oxygen interrupts my concentration.. and then it repeats this sort of cycle, and I can't seem to move deeper because of the interruption.

I will check out your link,

thanks to both of you. :smile:
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