25 Mindfulness of Breathing (2)

20 Apr 2012

We return to mindfulness of breathing with a focus on finding continuity and stability. Alan invokes the Buddha’s teachings which begin: “While breathing in long, he knows ‘I am breathing in long.’”

As we progress we’ll begin to notice times when the mind drops into serenity, and breathing becomes shallow. With less activity in the mind and body, there is less demand for air, and the whole body becomes calm. This can be very peaceful, we can see why it’s called an ambrosial dwelling.

Alan speaks to those who may experience variability in the quality of their practice, and emphasizes the importance of developing an authentic way of evaluating one’s practice. He then gives guidelines on how best to use our time in retreat when off the meditation cushion, finding activities that are conducive to shamatha practice: being grounded, present, aware and mindful while walking, eating, discussing dharma or reading meaningful books.

Question and answer 59.40

* Questions on anatomy: posture that influences the belly, a jaw that drops, and which nostril sensations to attend to.
* While in the supine posture should one exert effort to return to the body if the mind is agitated?
* In settling the mind, when emotions relating to mental events arise in the space of the body, should these be attended to at the expense of bifurcating one’s attention?

Meditation starts 9.37 Meditation ends 34.30

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