Posted by Savaka (188.8.131.52) on August 26, 2000 at 16:01:08:
In Reply to: breathing posted by seer on August 23, 2000 at 12:28:35:
The watching of the breath has two functions. The first is as a meditation subject. The second is as a point of mindfulness or awareness. Both functions has concentration as the objective.
The reason the breath is so emphasized as a tool of concentration is simply because it's always there. There are plenty of objects of meditation, but they need preparation and/or certain mental attributes. Breathing on the other hand, is every living creature's right.
The other less important reason is that the breath is a very neutral object to cast your mind's attention on.
If your meditation on the breathing ever gets intense to such an extent that you feel like exerting strong physical effort onto the breathing, just let things happen.
Don't find a reason to concentrate on the breathing. There isn't one. Just tell your mind to look at nothing else by the ins and outs of the breath. No reasons, no justifications, no definition of any goals. Disregard all perceptions derived from impressions brought by the six senses into the consciousness. You might get bored and even indescribably sleepy. But presevere and remind yourself that the activity at hand is to WATCH THE BREATH. Your awareness of your delightful sleepiness means that you were paying attention to messages coming from the sixth sense - the brain. Wrong attention. Your attention should be the physical touch of the breath on your nostrils or your upper lip, depending on which area feels most apparent. Don't follow your breath into the lungs. The lungs have no nerve ends so it's impossible to FEEL the air in the lungs (whatever your mind says). I say again: Your attention should be the physical touch of the breath on your nostrils or your upper lip, depending on which area feels most apparent.
Just keep on doing that. Strange experiences, sensations and visions will arrive, but stay on the breath. Let your instincts guide you. If you can proceed this far, it will mean that you have meditated well before in your past lives...your mind will know what to do. All YOU have to do is concentrate on the breathing. At some point, the physical breath disappears and what I call the breath of the mind will show itself. Your mind will be able to differentiate between the breath of the mind and mental illusions and visualisations if you can come this far. At this stage, you can be deemed to have succeeded for the first time in this life in the meditation of the breath. And like everything else, more challenges will come to you after crossing this first bridge.
Do write to me if you ever come this far or if you have already known this. I would really like to be friends.
If you have never experienced it like this before. And you have a feeling you will not be able to. It means that you have avoided meditation for too long and for too many lives. You will need to guidance of a meditation teacher.
Disciple of the Blessed Lord
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