B. Alan Wallace, 05 Sep 2012

Meditation: transition from mindfulness of breathing with full body awareness to settling the mind. 

1) mindfulness of breathing with full body awareness: Feel the beginning of the in breath at the lower abdomen and let it flow from the bottom up. Let awareness illuminate the space of the whole body. Maintain non-conceptual flow of mindfulness of non-conceptual sensations associated with the in and out breaths, monitoring that mindfulness with introspection.

2) settling the mind: Eyes at least partially open, with absent gaze. As an anchor, maintain a general awareness of the breath. As the main practice, direct interest and awareness to the space of the mind and the thoughts and images arising therein. Simply observe the nature of thoughts and not their content. Don’t modify or grasp. Your awareness should be still while thoughts are in motion. 

There should be a deep sense of relaxation in both the body and awareness. Breathe through either the nostrils or the mouth as desired.

Meditation starts: 00:00

Download (MP3 / 16 MB)



Please find a comfortable position, we can go right in.

Let your awareness descend to and fill the body. Set your body at ease in stillness and in vigilance. And then as you totally relax into the respiration, relax and release so fully as you breathe out, that you feel the beginning of the in breath way down in the lower abdomen. As you allow the breath to effortlessly flow in, feel the sensations associated with the breath rise up from the bottom of the abdomen, up to the abdomen and up to diaphragm and in a deep breath, if the breath flows in deeply, then up into the chest like feeling a vase of water. Let the sensations of the in breath flow from the bottom up.

(3:45) It’s only when you completely release control over the breath that you can begin to find it interesting. If you are controlling it you know exactly what is coming up next because you are doing it, but if it’s happening without your control, you never know what is coming up, and each breath is unique, and for that in breath you never know before it happens whether will be shallow or deep, faster or slow. So relax deeply into the breathing but with a high degree of interest, of clarity and looseness.

(5:26) Allow your mind to settle in its natural state of relaxation, stillness and clarity as you let the light of your awareness illuminate the whole field of the body , with a special interest in those sensations associated with in and out breath. Observe the ripple effect all the way through the body, and even into the legs and the arms, the whole body breathing.

(7:46) Direct your mindfulness single pointedly to the space of the body and within that space, to the tactile sensations associated with the breath, maintaining as continuous a flow of mindfulness as you can, while monitoring the flow of your mindfulness with your faculty of introspection. Noting whether thoughts are coming up, excitation, laxity, dullness, monitoring the mind with introspection while the main force of your attention is focused on the field or space of the body.

(11:04) Whatever thoughts arise, simply release them, especially during every out breath, and maintain of the best of your ability, a non-conceptual flow of mindfulness of these non-conceptual sensations of the breathe.

(13:01) And now let your eyes be at least partially open, vacantly rest your visual gaze in the space in front of you without focusing on any visual object, any shape or color. Let your eyes be opened, but as if you are totally absent minded or caught up in a day dream, but rather than being absent minded or simply mind wandering , now shift the focus of mindfulness to the space of the mind and whatever thoughts and images arise within that domain, but secondarily, peripherally, continue to be aware of the in and out flow of the breath, it gives you a point of orientation and even anchoring of your attention, but simply a general awareness that, the breath is flowing in, that is flowing out while your interest is really focused on the space of the mind, and right now what thoughts, images are arising, and attend to them closely, simply observing their nature without getting caught up or carried away by them. Let your awareness be still, while your thoughts are in motion.

(16:24) The level of interest here is not in what you are thinking about, whether it is interesting thoughts or boring thoughts, happy or sad, virtuous or non-virtuous , but rather taking on the role of the scientist of the mind we are simply observing the very nature of the thoughts, not their content. Observe them closely, without seeking to modify them in any way, without being distracted by them or grasping onto them, simply observe their nature.

(20:19) It is imperative to have a deep core sense of relaxation and looseness in the body and in your awareness, releasing all grasping. With this in mind, experiment in terms of your breathing to see whether you feel looser, more relaxed, breathing through the nostrils or through the mouth, at your choice.

(22:41) We apply introspection as before, monitoring the flow of mindfulness. As soon as you see that you have been carried away by thoughts, once again let your first response be to relax, then release your grasping onto the thought and return to the present moment. If you become spaced out or dull, apply the remedies as before: refresh, refocus and retain your mindfulness.

Comments after meditation:

(25:00) We have these couple of minutes, any questions about this transition from mindfulness of breathing, kind a smoothly shifting over to the focus on the mind, settling the mind in its natural state? Clear enough for the time being? Anything is coming up right now? Ok, school out early, enjoy your day.

Transcribed by Rafael Carlos Giusti

Revised by Cheri Langston.

Final edition by Rafael Carlos Giusti

Posted by Alma Ayon


Ask questions about this lecture on the Buddhism Stack Exchange or the Students of Alan Wallace Facebook Group. Please include this lecture’s URL when you post.