Very subtle breath

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.
powerhawk
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Very subtle breath

Postby powerhawk » Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:47 pm

Hello,
I've been practicing mindfulness of the breath in my abdomen for roughly 8 months, and recently realized that, while almost all instruction I have been given has said not to control the breathing in any way, I was still, in a subtle way, making my breath deeper.
After making attempts to just let my breath proceed completely naturally, I have noticed that my breath becomes very light, and I hardly feel any overt sensations in my abdomen at all. There is some element of sensation but it is not nearly as strong as typical sensations of touch. This makes it a lot more difficult to place my attention directly on the breath (but nevertheless I feel my meditation is better now that I am not controlling the breath than it was previously).

If I am wearing a shirt that is right against my abdomen, I can focus on the sensation of my abdomen hitting my shirt as I breathe, which helps. The sensations in my nostrils are also rather weak unless I am breathing with some vigor.

Is this common? I don't know what to do when this happens.

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Very subtle breath

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:57 am

Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.

TaTa
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Re: Very subtle breath

Postby TaTa » Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:22 pm

The same thing happends to me and i have almost the same amount of time meditating as you. What i do basicly is focus on that kind of "void" sensation when de breath becomes lighter. After a while it seems that you start to become more aware of subtle things and the breath appears again (or not). One analogy that iv heard from ajahn brahm is that its the same as when you turn off the lights. At first you dont see anything but then your eyes start to function better in the dark.

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catmoon
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Re: Very subtle breath

Postby catmoon » Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:48 am

Sometimes, great relaxation plus intense concentration on a non-breath object, like a nimitta, can result in a startling event. After a number of minutes one snaps alert thinking "OMG I'm not breathing!". It's alarming at first. I think what is happening is that the breath has become exceedingly fine and lengthy gaps in the breathing cycle are occurring. I've never suffered any ill effects from this sort of thing.

It's such a strong effect it really does get you wondering just how long one can go without breathing at all...
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Very subtle breath

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:04 am

Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.

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lobster
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Re: Very subtle breath

Postby lobster » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:12 am


Mal
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Re: Very subtle breath

Postby Mal » Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:52 pm


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catmoon
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Location: British Columbia

Re: Very subtle breath

Postby catmoon » Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:07 am

Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.


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