logo
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 3 of 5 1 2 3 4 5
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk
OP Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
I wanted to talk about breathing in meditation a bit. Many meditation approaches revolve around focusing on the breath. This might include counting breaths, or controlled breathing (breathing in a certain pattern.) Or it might simply be using the breath as the initial 'object of focus' - pulling the awareness back to the breath over and over, often focusing on the associated sensations.

For many people, this is a wonderful way to begin meditating. They find focusing on the breath very accessible and centering. However, for others, focusing on the breath brings challenges. They have a hard time breathing naturally when focused on the breath, and end up forcing the breath, which makes them feel lightheaded or semi-hyperventilated.

They key to working with the breath is to really focus on this idea that you are 'watching' the breath. If you think in terms of watching, rather than controlling, it makes it much easier. Usually for someone who finds breath meditation challenging, counting or controlled breathing might not be the best choice initially. But if you can think in terms of watching the breath and noticing the sensations it creates on your mouth, throat, etc, as it goes in and out, that is much easier.

Also, keeping the breath centered in your belly is helpful. If we tense up we breath higher up, in our chests. Gently placing one hand on your belly, and focusing on the rise and fall as you inhale and exhale, can help with relaxing into the breath, rather that feeling as if you are forcing it...


Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
Buddhism Site
Teaching and Private Session Website: Enlightened Energetics
Blog: Mommy Mystic
Sponsored Post Advertisement
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk
OP Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Next meditation tidbit: Handling expectations in meditation. We hear many encouraging things about meditation, in terms of how it can benefit our health, help our concentration, connect us with spirit, transport us to bliss, awaken us - you name it, it's been said about meditation! And although those 'benefits' help to motivate us and are all wonderful, they can also end up discouraging us from meditating if we don't experience those benefits right away. We may feel like "ok I've been doing this for a few days/weeks/months now and all I am doing is sitting here wasting time thinking, I am not getting any benefit."

Some things that may help you to not give up: Studies on both the health benefits of meditation and the increases in self-awareness (which maps to brain changes) have shown that these benefits are actually not linked to how much someone enjoys, or doesn't enjoy, their meditation, or even whether they felt they were doing 'well' or 'not well'. In other words, we really can't judge these kinds of benefits ourselves. But most likely, if you were to test your blood pressure and stress hormones and other physical measures before you began meditating regularly and after a few weeks, you would see a difference, even if you felt like you were just sitting there thinking. And the same is true for psychological self-awareness assessments.

Just the very act of practicing - of sitting down and pulling your mind back to itself (or your breath, or whatever you are focused on) over and over after it wanders, has benefits. It is like exercise in that way - whether you enjoy doing pushups or not, if you do them, your arms will get stronger!

On another level, this word 'practice' is really key. We talk about a meditation 'practice' and it's important to remember that is what meditation is. Practice. Practice for focusing our mind, practice resting in our true nature, practice inquiring into the roots of our awareness, practice connecting with spirit - whatever you view it as. And as in any practice, we don't always feel progress. But repetition always pays off. So letting go of the expectations is key.

On still another level, letting go of those expectations is itself an important part of our meditation journey. Those expectations themselves are thoughts and thoughts structures. Sometimes they arise as the result of subconscious fears we may have about what meditation may surface for us. In that sense, simply sitting calmly with the doubts themselves, and gently letting go of them, will allow a greater peace to arise.


Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
Buddhism Site
Teaching and Private Session Website: Enlightened Energetics
Blog: Mommy Mystic
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,200
Koala
Offline
Koala
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,200
Dear Lisa

Funny you write this article.I was about to E-mail you regarding Vipassana Meditation .What I got on Wiki is ok ,but you know me,I want it simple.
What is Vipassana Meditation ,give me YOUR view ,and how to start.

Thanking you in advance

loong

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk
OP Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Here's my article on it, but I will respond in more depth later.

Vipassana or Insight Meditation

As with anything, there are multiple forms taught, so all that matters is that you find an approach that you connect with. It's also often called insight meditation, especially here in the West, because the Insight Meditation Society is very well-known.

Last edited by Lisa - Buddhism; 03/21/14 12:41 PM.

Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
Buddhism Site
Teaching and Private Session Website: Enlightened Energetics
Blog: Mommy Mystic
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,200
Koala
Offline
Koala
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,200
Dear Lisa,

Did a bit of Vipassana ,watching or feeling the air caressing the naustrils.I tend to fall asleep ,

loong

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk
OP Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Yes, it's not a form that offers a lot of stimulation in the way that mantra, chakra, or visual practice does. Although those other forms are meant to lead to the same practice once the mind has stilled.

Another form of Vipassana/Insight meditation is slightly more active - you ask questions as a way of moving deeper into your awareness. Things like 'what part of my awareness is always still?', 'where do my thoughts come from?', 'what part of me sees my own mind?' 'what or who sees that 'seer'?'

After a question you simply try and sit and allow the answer to arise - not as words, but as a shift into a deeper awareness. It is a bit like koan practice.

Really, this practice is found in some form in every Buddhist tradition I can think of, as is focusing on the breath.


Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
Buddhism Site
Teaching and Private Session Website: Enlightened Energetics
Blog: Mommy Mystic
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,200
Koala
Offline
Koala
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,200
Dear Lisa
What you have written ,I do every nite, questionning my understanding and living all the material learnt in the day ,choosing what is for me r not,refreshing old beleifs etc ,however I do not do it in a meditation position .

loong

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk
OP Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Yes, this is a little different. This is not the same as contemplating these questions philosophically or intellectually, as then you stay in the mind, in mentation. As insight meditation, you ask these questions to turn your mind on itself, like a mirror facing a mirror. You do not seek to answer them. They are like arrows you cast into your mind, and then sit in stillness and discover the awareness coming through you. They loosen the sense of there being a 'thinker' - you begin to connect with awareness coming through you, apart from any opinions or beliefs.

So if you are used to doing this anyway, you may want to experiment with doing it in meditation. Just wait between questions and look into the workings of your awareness. It is just very tricky to do this without creating new mental structures - without getting stuck in the intellectual mind.

In my view, it is best balanced with heart work too - metta meditation, compassion meditation, Tara or heart chakra work - some form that centers in metta or boddhicitta.


Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
Buddhism Site
Teaching and Private Session Website: Enlightened Energetics
Blog: Mommy Mystic
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk
OP Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Next Meditation Tip: Another wonderful tool for handling a busy or drowsy mind is what's called 'noting' in the Insight meditation tradition. Whenever you catch your mind wandering, take a moment to label what it is you were doing, like 'worrying', 'planning', 'projecting', 'daydreaming', 'dozing' etc. You just label it, and then return your mind to your meditation. Just this simple step helps you to detach from the mental activity in a way that is non-judgmental - just noting/noticing.

If you have a lot of one 'activity' happening, say you are returning to worrying or planning over and over, then take a moment to explore what is happening in your body as you do it. Notice where you feel it in your body - you may notice you are tensing your shoulders, gripping your jaw, or feeling butterflies in your stomach. Or perhaps if you are drowsy, you notice that you are slumping, or your mouth has fallen open. Again, don't judge, just note, and then return to your meditation.

Remember, you are building your meditation 'muscles' - as Insight teacher Sharon Salzburg puts it, "Beginning again and again is the actual practice, not a problem to overcome so that one day we can come to the 'real' meditation."


Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
Buddhism Site
Teaching and Private Session Website: Enlightened Energetics
Blog: Mommy Mystic
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk
OP Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Chipmunk
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,207
Along the lines of the 'noting' tip above, there is another tool that forms the acronym RAIN:


R Recognize what is happening
A Allow life to be just as it is
I Investigate inner experience with kindness
N Non-Identification.

This is used by several meditation teachers, but I am familiar with it from Tara Brach. It is a series of steps you can use in meditation and out, and in fact you can view your meditation as practice for using these four steps when difficult emotions come up in life.

First, become aware of what you are feeling or thinking - this is the RECOGNIZE step. Then note any part of you that is resisting it, trying to push it away or avoid it, and instead ACCEPT what is happening, what you are feeling. Then use your natural curiosity to INVESTIGATE how it is manifesting in your body - where do you feel it, how does it feel etc. And finally settle into NON-IDENTIFICATION, meaning don't attach, let it float on through you like a cloud in the sky- not pushing it away, but not attaching either.

Really, all of meditation is practice for using these steps throughout our life until they become second nature...


Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
Buddhism Site
Teaching and Private Session Website: Enlightened Energetics
Blog: Mommy Mystic
Page 3 of 5 1 2 3 4 5

Moderated by  Lisa - Buddhism 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Brand New Posts
2021: On this day . . .
by Mona - Astronomy - 05/07/21 05:25 AM
how do i insert a flash movie?
by Ravina - 05/07/21 04:35 AM
How do I link images?
by Ravina - 05/07/21 04:26 AM
How do you add MP3 to your site??
by Ravina - 05/07/21 01:32 AM
How to Demonstrate HTML?
by Ravina - 05/07/21 01:27 AM
How search engines work
by Ravina - 05/07/21 01:26 AM
Editing webpage with IE8 ??? How??
by Ravina - 05/07/21 01:24 AM
Do you wear Foundation?
by Luella - 05/06/21 06:48 PM
Why You Should Wear Sunglasses
by Luella - 05/06/21 06:44 PM
Sponsor
Safety
We take forum safety very seriously here at BellaOnline. Please be sure to read through our Forum Guidelines. Let us know if you have any questions or comments!
Privacy
This forum uses cookies to ensure smooth navigation from page to page of a thread. If you choose to register and provide your email, that email is solely used to get your password to you and updates on any topics you choose to watch. Nothing else. Ask with any questions!


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2021 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5