Re: Why breath

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Posted by Michael Pollard ( on August 26, 2000 at 19:58:26:

In Reply to: Why breath posted by Savaka on August 26, 2000 at 16:01:08:

A suggestion, if you have trouble with the sensations of the nostrals, as I seem to, try the lower abdomine. I've been reading some Zen liturature and the Hara is said to be at the bottom of the gut. This is the 3rd Tantric cakras between the growing and the bellie button, it's much easier to keep attention on this point; although you have to breath from the bellie rather than the chest. Don't strain to hard, such a concentration is easy when in a proper meditative position... I speak of the full or half lotus or another solid position. Also, I'm not sure if it's the mind breath, but as things fal away I find that I become almost one with my breath and evrything around me. I have no idea wheather this is good; although it's a good feeling. Anyway, beware of sleepiness, constant spleepiness may indicate your postion is bad and/or you need better quality sleep at night. I need about 8 hours and meditation is much better when I first awaken. I must also toss in my two cents about a teacher, get one if you can..
it's a luxuray many like me cannot get. If you cannot get one, don't worry, start gradually from counting breaths 1 on in.. 2 on out... 3 on in... and so on up to 10 at which time you start over; and start over at one if you loss count or find yourself trying to remeber what number your on. That's a subtle sign of inattention. What else? Yes, after that you should try the bottom of the gut breathing, when you can stay on counting without interuption for a few sesions, and it should be good for a time. I of course am a novice too, I assume you are, and should mention that serious reading a experimenting is important. I'm not done this book "The three pillars of Zen" by Roshi Philip Kapleau yet, but it's stuff on Zen meditation, preferably called zazen, is great. It even provides pictures of postitions and pillow descriptions. Great book thus far. Anyway, babbleing on I go. Metta and here's a description of my sitting postion if you need it.

  1. Get a blanket and fold it into a wedge shape of 12-18 inches wide and 3-6 in thickness. Thickness is importantand you should adjust yours to personal perfection. A wedge shape is best so that your tailbone is about the height of your kneesand you still have a gradual sloping support for your but. A real pillow is round of similare dimesions and supposidly work well. Ah, do all this either on a carpet or some other padding for knees which will be in direct contact with the floor. It's best not to have to much padding, two inches is max.
  2. Full or half lotus. I use half where my left foot is placed on top of my right thigh, then the right foot is beneth my left knee. The full lotus is where your left and right feet are on opposite theighs... this is to tough for me. There's some alternatives which I've never tried and need to much explaination. With the proper seating, make sure your back is straight, your shoulders comfortably pulled back opening your chest, and your head on your shoulders straight. Also, have your chin tucked in so your ears are in line with your shoulders. Also, to avoid twisting and tensing your muscels in painful ways, keep your whole body pointin forward in the same direction with your hands in your lap, your navel pointing toward your hands and chin lined up with navel... you should beable to feel contortions in your body. Keep your shoulders relaxed and elbows tucked close to your body to prevent strain... oh, it may help to keep your hands a inch or two in front of your filled gut, for breathing room.
  3. For your hands, keep them palms up, and your right in your left with the two thumbs touching lightly.
  4. Your eyes may best be pointed slightly below a straight veiw with your eyes half or fully closed. Fully is easier for concentration purpse, less distraction. If you want, I heard faceing a blank wall does wounders for maintaing concentration.

I haven't explained this all as well as I should, but they are mostly to explain my reasons for doing these things. A better description is offered, it's the seven point postion. Read it on this site, I think. Just go to the teaching section. If you do meditate well enough, then all this is for not... and I hope at least someone found it interesting. Feel free to flame me for bad practice or for any reason at I hope I helped a little, Metta.

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