Is breathing meditation alone good?

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

Is breathing meditation alone good?

Postby sraddha » Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:22 am

Hi,

I'm wondering what the most popular form of Buddhist meditation is. I find that most people start with anapanasmriti.

Even though I practice this, for me it's in addition to Ratnatraya anusmritis or my mantras.

I'm wondering if breathing meditation alone is good, particularly for beginners who need to gain strength (the 5 Balas), any views/experiences? :meditate:
sraddha
 
Posts: 302
Joined: Sun May 24, 2009 11:54 pm

Re: Is breathing meditation alone good?

Postby genkaku » Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:52 am

I don't know much about the long names, but I favor the breath. It is intimate and inescapable and without it all the long names would disappear in a nanosecond. Since what is sought is intimate and inescapable, the breath is a good point of focus. There is no way to lie about or be wise about the breath.

Counting exhalations from one to ten and then beginning again is good in the beginning. It offers a good framework. Once some grounding arises, perhaps the counting drifts away.

I am not trying to make an exclusive case. Anything can, with attention, take someone home. But breath is a no-frills approach ... which may be one reason that other practices are useful: We all like our frills, I imagine.
genkaku
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:23 pm

Re: Is breathing meditation alone good?

Postby clw_uk » Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:14 pm

The Buddha said it will take one all the way to nibbana and that it was this practice that he engaged in while under the Bodhi Tree, however i feel it does need to be complimented with other meditations such as loving-kindness, compassion etc etc
Those who are lust-infatuated fall back to the swirling current (of samsara) like a spider on its self-spun web. This too the wise cut off. Without any longing, they abandon all dukkha and renounce the world

Dhammapada - Verse 347
User avatar
clw_uk
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:38 am

Re: Is breathing meditation alone good?

Postby sraddha » Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:58 pm

Hi,


What happens if you get sick though?

I know when I had the flu or sore throat pain, breathing meditation became tough -- even painful. Do you guys break practice or just do it very lightly?
sraddha
 
Posts: 302
Joined: Sun May 24, 2009 11:54 pm

Re: Is breathing meditation alone good?

Postby genkaku » Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:40 pm

I imagine that you have to breathe even when you're sick. If you weren't breathing, you'd be dead and how could you possibly know you were sick? :smile:
genkaku
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:23 pm

Re: Is breathing meditation alone good?

Postby sraddha » Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:17 pm

genkaku wrote:I imagine that you have to breathe even when you're sick. If you weren't breathing, you'd be dead and how could you possibly know you were sick? :smile:


:D

No, I mean focusing on the breath -- not stop breathing! The last thing I want to do, when I was a beginner, was to focus on my breathing while I had a chest cold or cough.

When you are beginning, painful feelings don't subside -- they are just more painful! :smile:
sraddha
 
Posts: 302
Joined: Sun May 24, 2009 11:54 pm

Re: Is breathing meditation alone good?

Postby zoltan » Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:01 pm

Hi everyone!
Namaste!
Can you please explain what "break practice or just do it very lightly" means? Concerning pain and the breath or pain in general I have had many experiences where my legs just hurt to a point I cannot bear it. Sometimes by concentrating on the object of meditation (breath or viszualization) the pain fades. It doesn't dissapear, it just changes from "my pain" to pain on it's own and in this way loses it's power. It's really an amazing experience. It doesn't always work though. Sometimes it's just unbareable and gets worse and worse.But as time and practice progresses it becomes easier. So gettingback to the breath and pain if breathing hurts maybe it's best to concentrate on something else that's not painful, maybe the tip of your nose and the flow of warm air in and out.

Breathing meditation works for me and I agree with the post that other practices are also very useful. Intelligence, intention and perseverance are main factors in my limited understanding.
User avatar
zoltan
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:27 pm
Location: Eger, Hungary

Re: Is breathing meditation alone good?

Postby Luke » Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:06 pm

sraddha wrote:Hi,
I'm wondering if breathing meditation alone is good, particularly for beginners who need to gain strength (the 5 Balas), any views/experiences? :meditate:


Yes, breathing meditation is always excellent if it's done properly (i.e. don't force or artificially control your breathing; just let it happen naturally). If you make your breathing unnatural, then the energies in your body become unnatural--and then your mental state becomes unnatural.

Another good thing to do is to exhale deeply and inhale deeply 3 times before doing shinay to purify the energies in your body. Visualize all the negative karmas which cause sickness and unhappiness leaving your body during these 3 exhalations, and visualize the positive energy of enlightened Buddhas entering you during these 3 inhalations. Thereafter, just breathe naturally and don't visualize anything. And of course, recite the refuge vow 3 times before your meditation, if you've taken refuge, and dedicate the merits you accumulated during the meditation for the benefit of all sentient beings at the end of your meditation.

sraddha wrote:What happens if you get sick though?

I know when I had the flu or sore throat pain, breathing meditation became tough -- even painful. Do you guys break practice or just do it very lightly?


I have no problem doing the usual breathing meditation in which I only breath through my nose when I'm sick. However, I do find it difficult to do a special type of shinay which involves breathing through both the nose and mouth at the same time when I'm sick, so I don't do that one when I'm not well.
User avatar
Luke
 
Posts: 1700
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:04 pm

Re: Is breathing meditation alone good?

Postby m0rl0ck » Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:05 am

Some experience problems with attention to the breath. i got good results with a practice called "regarding the tan tien"

More here: http://www.cloudwater.org/index.php/ch- ... o-meditate
Ride the horse in the direction its going.

~Werner Erhard
User avatar
m0rl0ck
 
Posts: 180
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:53 am

Re: Is breathing meditation alone good?

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:56 am

genkaku wrote:I don't know much about the long names, but I favor the breath. It is intimate and inescapable and without it all the long names would disappear in a nanosecond. Since what is sought is intimate and inescapable, the breath is a good point of focus. There is no way to lie about or be wise about the breath.

Counting exhalations from one to ten and then beginning again is good in the beginning. It offers a good framework. Once some grounding arises, perhaps the counting drifts away.

I am not trying to make an exclusive case. Anything can, with attention, take someone home. But breath is a no-frills approach ... which may be one reason that other practices are useful: We all like our frills, I imagine.


:good:
Ngawang Drolma
Founding Member
 
Posts: 2230
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:44 pm


Return to Meditation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

>