Friday, January 8, 2016

Mindfulness of Breathing

Buddha's hands in meditation posture

“Herein the disciple retires to the forest, to the foot of a tree, or to a solitary place, seats himself with legs crossed, body erect, and with mindfulness fixed before him, mindfully he breathes in, mindfully he breathes out. When making a long inhalation, he knows: ‘I make a long inhalation’; when making a long exhalation, he knows: ‘I make a long exhalation’. When making a short inhalation, he knows: ‘I make a short inhalation’: when making a short exhalation, he knows: ‘I make a short exhalation’. ‘Clearly perceiving the entire body, I shall breathe in’: thus he trains himself; ‘Clearly perceiving the entire body, I shall breathe out’: thus he trains himself. ‘Calming this bodily function I shall breathe in’: thus he trains himself; ‘Calming this bodily function. I shall breathe out’: thus he trains himself.

Thus he dwells in contemplation of the body, either with regard to his own person, or to other persons, or to both, he beholds how the body arises; beholds how it passes away;
beholds the arising and passing away of the body. A body is there this clear awareness is present in him, to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives independent, unattached to anything in the world. Thus does the disciple dwell in contemplation of the body.”

Note: The above is taken from the Satipatthana Sutta, an ancient mindfulness & meditation discourse attributed to Buddha. This section describes the basic meditation technique called anapanasati (mindfulness of breathing), a practice still used in many Buddhist traditions from Thailand to Japan, Tibet to California. The above instructions can be tried out by oneself if no meditation teacher is available, perhaps for five to fifteen minutes at first. After becoming settled in this practice, the time may be increased and the benefits, both in body & mind, can increase exponentially. (Such benefits may include physical & mental relaxation, calmness, and an increase in focus levels. Further instructions can be found throughout the Internet by searching for the key words satipatthana, anapanasati & mindfulness of breathing. Further note: As he was addressing monks, in the original text Buddha uses the term bhikkhu (Buddhist monk) not shravaka (disciple); also, this is why the text above uses ‘him’ not ‘her.’ Mindfulness of breathing is a simple technique that anyone can utilise, whether monk or nun, layman or laywoman.


Kidbux Blog said...

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G said...

Thank you for the link, Kidbux.