Mindfulness of Breath

12 minutes
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Hi, in this lesson, we're going to move our object of meditation from the body to the breath, we're going to actually change what we concentrate on. And I go into the reasons in why we do that in a moment. But first, a little bit of a side note on the object of meditation. Because a lot of people do get hung up on the idea of what they meditate on is so important and they have to choose the right object of meditation. And of course, there's lots of things you can meditate on you can meditate on a flower or a candle flame or you can meditate on compassion or perhaps a particular Gong, an idea or contemplation of a different idea calling a manager. So, there are all these different objects and there are slight differences.

There are differences on what you meditate on. But don't get hung up on the object of meditation, the real activity of meditation is being able to bring your mind back from destruction to your object of meditation. So it doesn't really matter what that object is, that's just a stake in the ground to tie your mind to so you know, when your mind has drifted off onto another subject. Because if you're not thinking about the subject, which you've decided to think about it, you know, you're under the influence of distraction, and you need to be mindful and bring your mind back to the meditation object you've chosen. So don't get hung up on what we meditate on. There's there's not that's not the main objective, but there are small differences.

And we're going to move as I said, from meditation on the body to meditation on the breath. So let's just discussed the benefits and advantages and disadvantages of each of those. So Starting with the body, the body is an excellent meditation object, especially for beginners. First of all, it's always with you. And it's what we call I was easy to apprehend, it's easy to grasp with your mind the body. We're always thinking about our bodies.

So it's a great mind object of mindfulness. Also, it's quite interesting. And as I've discussed before, we need to bring some interest to the mind to keep it active. So you can think about the seven parts of the body. The next reason why the body's great is because for beginning meditators, there's often a lot of pain. Each is not involved until the body settles down.

So initially, meditating on the body is is excellent. You can meditate on the body when you're walking, and indeed, we'll do walking meditation after this. And a whole lot of other reasons. And the final reason that I would say that meditation on the body is great is because I personally believe and I think science is backing this up now, that the media attention of your mind, on the body or on the parts of the body, which may be hurting, our healing in and of itself. So if you have problems with the body, if you if you're sick for some reason, then bringing the mind back and into the body instead of focused out there, I think he's actually you know, helping that healing process. So for those reasons, the body is a really good meditation object.

Now, let's look at the breath meditation, the breath is a lot more subtle, it's a lot more smoother. And for that reason, your mind is able to sort of refine itself and get a lot smoother and more peaceful on the mind, in general, quicker than on the body. So that's Why mindfulness of breath is such an excellent object of meditation. And indeed, mindfulness of breath is probably the most common meditation in the whole world. Yeah, so that's and for good reason. Because meditation on the breath is an excellent object.

It has some interest in breath and out breath, you can have short breaths and long rest. So it does keep your mind it's always with you, is a very calming influence. And also, by actually managing the breath. If you take longer calm of breaths, you'll actually calm down your body and your mind at the same time. So your breath is intimately related to your state of mind. So for all of those reasons, the meditation on the breath is the next object to go to and is a great object of meditation.

So it is harder because let's face it, it's more boring. It's just the in breath and out breath and Maybe we can concentrating on the gaps between the breath. But there's not that much to keep us interested on the breath. But it will, if we can stay on the breath as the meditation object, it will make us calmer. So we'll talk about that now. So the way we meditate on the breath is we generally choose an area to meditate on.

So, for example, we could meditate on the chest opening up on the in breath and closing on the opera, or we could meditate on the diaphragm moving up and down. My favorite is to concentrate on a point just inside your nostrils where you can feel the air coming through your nose, and out again. And so you can actually feel that on the inside of your nostrils and it gives more of a focal point to concentrate your mind on. So however you wish to concentrate on the breath is fine Bye, you Whichever way, but pick one point and try and stick with it for the whole meditation object. Now, once you've picked your meditation object, try to keep an even breath, even in an even out. And there are actual reasons for that which we go into, in the technique return in the technique teachings, which is the next module.

But for now, just try to keep the flow even between the breaths. And the way that I'm going to teach you is to concentrate on the different parts of the breath. And there are three different parts. There is the in breath. Then there's a time where you have a retention. And you see if you can hold your breath is the same time as the breath, and then out breath.

And that should be about the same time as well. So you've also got a triangle. Now, your question In walk, why don't we concentrate on the gap between the output and the input. And indeed, some traditions do teach that, again, it doesn't matter, the way I was taught was just to concentrate on those three parts. So that's the way I'm teaching you, but don't get hung up if you hear another TGT gene, just in breath, and the out breath or the in breath and the retention, breath and retention, etc. and if we can concentrate on those three paths, that will give us something to concentrate on.

And don't get too worried. If you dish in breath is longer than the out breath, what you find is that if you worry about your breath, and you sort of try to control it, your breath will become awkward, and people will notice that the more attention they put on the breath, sometimes the shorter again, so the more awkward it gets. So that will actually resolve itself over time. For the time being, just try to put a loose awareness on the breath. And just encourage your breath to try to attain an equanimity state like an equal state between the in breath and the out breath. But if one breath is once part of the breath is longer than the other, don't get worried about it.

Because while we will, in fact, just increase your agitation. So, what I'd like you to do now is to actually try that just for a few minutes by pausing this video right now, and practice breathing in retaining the breath and breathing out. So go ahead, pause the video right now. And then once you've done it, replay the video and come back. Okay, so I hope you've done it. If you haven't, practice it, go ahead, pause it and practice the free pass of the breath.

If you have well done, and hopefully you'll have noticed that the in breath and out breath are much finer, and you're able to feel a little bit more peaceful perhaps, than you did by meditating on the body. Nevertheless, we'll continue. And you'll notice also where depending on how long you meditated on it, because there's less involved in concentrating on the breath, it's easier for the mind to become distracted, there's less going on, so the mind gets bored quicker and it moves away. So as we did in the last meditation on the body, it's actually fun and good to meditate on sort of symbology of the breath, and the why we do that is as well as what you do is only in breath, imagine breathing, walk lot. And then on the retention, imagine that that watt light is red, and then On the out breath, it's blue.

And what you can also associate this is with qualities. So imagine that as you breathing white light, it contains all those particular qualities that will help you gain a deeper state of meditation. So whether that's patience, a loving heart, a bit more persistence, a bit more encouragement, any of those qualities, you can just breathe them in healing. Or you can even breathe in, for example, the depths of the ocean, or the majesty of the mountains. Whatever occurs to you that you feel you need in your meditation, just breathe it in, in the form of white light on in breath. Now, those qualities, imagine that they become part of you during the retention, and they become sort of part of your blood so inside of you and your blood is red.

So imagine that you're mostly read inside and that becomes that color as quality seep into every single cell of your body so that they manifest within you. And then on the out breath, if you have any pains or distractions or problems, just imagine breathing that out in the form of dark blue light. So the practices to breathing white light look qualities, imagine them becoming part of you during your attention and breathing out all the things that don't serve you. And this will not only keep you interested in the meditation, but of course, it also serves as a reminder to bring those qualities in to have a deeper meditational practice. So down below, I have a guided meditation which can take you through that but of course, as a technique of meditation. The aim is for you to be able to do this by yourself without the need of an audio, but it's there, just for the first few times when you try this meditation So that's a summary of moving from the meditation on the bodies of the meditation on the breath.

And as we go forward in the technique teachings both in this module and the next module, we're going to be doing a lot of work with meditation on the breath and taking it deeper and deeper and using it to explore the mind. I hope you enjoy that and try the meditations below. Before you go on to the next lesson.

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