No breaks between breaths

Front Page Forums Meditation No breaks between breaths

This topic contains 10 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  JavaJeff 1 year, 4 months ago.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #2291

    B Lejon
    Member

    I wonder if I can “complete” stage 2-3 without having any breaks between my in and out breaths and out and in breaths. I have a clear and strong sensation of breath at all times, it’s of course more subtle between but still existent at all times.

    This make the tasks at stage 2-3 very different if not (partly) impossible where I’m supposed to watch these parts closely.

    Do I just skip that part? Or do I create breaks by actively make pauses?

    Thanks for any advice on this.

    #2293

    Blake Barton
    Keymaster

    Hi B. Lejon,

    The subtle sensations that you feel between breaths may not necessarily be caused by the breath. When we rest attention on a body part we often feel sensations there that are not caused by an external stimulus.

    If you are noticing the distinctions in the breath sensations throughout the breath cycle, I would say you are doing the practice very well. The purpose of this practice is to keep you fully engaged with the breath sensations. You do not necessarily need to feel no sensation during the pauses.

    You want to be interested in what you are actually feeling versus what you think you should be feeling.

    Hope this helps,
    Blake – Dharma Treasure Teacher

    #2295

    B Lejon
    Member

    Thanks!

    Then next question about the following the breath technique is the 3-4 sensations I’m going to find, are they all going to be in the nostrils or am I going to watch breath sensations in the whole body at this point? Culadasa writes that one will be able to detect a dozen sensations later but I have a hard time “believing” this if only watching the sensations at the nostrils.

    Thanks!

    #2297

    Blake Barton
    Keymaster

    Yes, the three to four sensations will all be in or around the nostrils. As your mind gets sharper you will notice a few different vibratory sensations during the inhale and the same during the exhale. If you try to check to see if you are noticing that many you will move attention and not notice the next sensation. At first you might need to reflect after the breath to recall what you noticed.

    Please don’t try too hard to notice more sensations than you can. This will only give you a headache.

    Blake

    #2298

    B Lejon
    Member

    Great! Now I have something new to do because since “learning” to watch the whole breath from beginning to end I totally lost interest in the breath and can’t follow more than 2-3 breaths before going to a thought or a sound. It’s amazing how quick my mind gets bored, I guess only having the in and out breaths without the pauses to watch make me bored faster.

    #2301

    Blake Barton
    Keymaster

    I think you may be too hard on yourself. Please remember that attention is going to move at this stage in your development. The fact that it doesn’t move for 2-3 breaths makes it pretty stable. You are not trying to avoid movements of attention, you just want to notice them when they happen and gently bring your attention back to the breath.

    I recommend that you read the section titled “How Forgetting Happens” in the Stage Three chapter for more information about movements of attention.

    You also want to notice boredom when it arises. We are putting our attention on the breath, but our true goal is to study how the mind works.

    Blake

    #2306

    B Lejon
    Member

    I’ve found out it wasn’t boredom that pulled down my attention span fron minutes on the breath to 2-3 breaths before getting caught up in stuff, it was me focusing to hard on the breath.

    I come from practicing anapanasati sutta so I built up some concentration but not watched the nostrils like I’m doing now with TMI, I’m feeling the balance out now though. Even though I can loosely follow the breath easily for minutes, as soon as I start to watch it closely I quickly start thinking about other things. I need to get used to watching the breath closer while still having broad awareness.

    #2309

    JavaJeff
    Member

    B Lejon, regarding this: Please do post back here how you are doing with this. I too am trying to maintain close attention while increasing peripheral awareness…and I don’t really know how to do that, so my progress seems stopped. I am interested to see how you do and what you learn from your efforts.

    #2310

    B Lejon
    Member

    Sure JavaJeff, I will.

    I’m all over it at the moment and with great guidance.

    🙂

    #2311

    Blake Barton
    Keymaster

    Dear B. Lejon and Java Jeff,

    It is quite common that as you try to notice more details of the breath that you tend to lose peripheral awareness. This means that you have not yet developed sufficient power of mind to do both. There are two reasons that you get lost in thought when to try too hard to notice details of the breath. One is that you loose peripheral awareness, and you do not notice movements of attention. The other is that trying too hard agitates the mind.

    I recommend emphasizing peripheral awareness over trying to follow the breath too closely. The peripheral awareness will allow you to see movements of attention much earlier. Please remember that you do not have to put an extra layer of effort on top of intention. If a meditation technique is difficult it probably means you are using the trying, doing, judging part of your mind instead of trusting intention. You want your meditation to be pleasant, relaxed and spacious.

    I recommend taking a look at Culadasa’s clarification on this topic here.

    http://dharmatreasurecommunity.org/forums/topic/questions-and-clarifications-about-peripheral-awareness

    Blake – Dharma Treasure Teacher

    #2314

    JavaJeff
    Member

    Thank you for the link, Blake. I think I’ve read that post 3 times now but each time I re-read it, I get more out of it!

    I have a couple of points of confusion, but am also having a hard time putting them into words, so I’ll ponder them for a bit and the post back here if they are still confounding me. In the meantime I have to trust Culadasa when he says that these things will all become clear in time, as I progress into more advanced stages.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.