Breathing Instructions

modernshxmxn:

1. Contract the lower abdomen when breathing out. Thereby the diaphragm is push upward, the chest area is tensed, and all used breath, even from the lower part of the lungs, is expelled entirely.

2. Breathe in fresh air through the nostrils. Let it fill the lungs to capacity so that the diaphragm is pushed down and the stomach expands.

3. Gradually lengthen and deepen your inhalations and exhalations. The stomach will get stronger and more stable. Some people say that one should hold the breath for a short moment at the end of inhalation. This is called stopping respiration. According to my own experience, this is not good for beginners.

4. As you go along, the respiration gradually grow subtler and finer until the entering and leaving of the breath is very soft. With prolonged practice you will cease to be consciously aware of the respiration and feel as if you weren’t breathing at all.

5. Once the state of non-respiration is reached, you can truly be without inhalations and exhalations. Even though you have special organs for breathing, you won’t feel any longer that you are using them at the same time the breath will by and by come to enter and leave through all the body. This is the perfection of harmonious breathing. However. As a beginner you should never try to attention this intentionally. Always obey nature and go along with what you can do.

Source: Yinshizi jingzuo fa 因是子靜坐法 (Quiet Sitting with Master Yinshi)


You breathe in and out all day and night, but you are never mindful of it, you never for a second concentrate your mind on it. Now you are going to do just this. Breathe in and out as usual, without any effort or strain. Now, bring your mind to concentrate on your breathing-in and breathing-out; let your mind watch and observe your breathing in and out; let your mind be aware and vigilant of your breathing in and out. When you breathe, you sometimes take deep breaths, sometimes not. This does not matter at all. Breathe normally and naturally. The only thing is that when you take deep breaths you should be aware that they are deep breaths, and so on. In other words, your mind should be so fully concentrated on your breathing that you are aware of its movements and changes. Forget all other things, your surroundings, your environment; do not raise your eyes and look at anything. Try to do this for five or ten minutes.

Walpola Rahula, What the Buddha Taught. (via modernshxmxn)

As humans, we are present in three realms. The spiritual (consciousness; emotions), the energetic (the unseen, the breath), and the material (our physical bodies). The heart is the centre of intelligence, playing the most active role in our existence. Our emotions are intimately connected to our breath and our breath to our heart. Whatever emotions we feel, it manifests in our breathing and then into our heartbeat.

Hxni, The Breath of the Spirit - A Short Guidebook on Breathing and Meditation. [x]

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The means of mental therapy employed by the Buddha, the “Great Physician” and great psychologist, are not, of course, psychoanalysis but a transformation of self through development of morality, meditation and wisdom. Through meditation in particular one can become aware of unconscious motivations, mental habits and inner conflicts, and free oneself of bondage to them.

Dr. Terry Clifford, Tibetan Buddhist Medicine and Psychiatry (via modernshxmxn)

Whenever you sit, you should quiet your mind and unify your energy. How is the mind quieted? The mechanism is in the breathing, but the mind alone knows you are breathing out and in; do not let the ears hear. When you don’t hear it, the breathing is fine; and when breathing is fine, the mind is clear. If you can hear it, the breathing is rough, which means the mind is cloudy. Cloudiness means oblivion, so it is natural to feel sleepy. Even so, the mind should be kept on the breathing.

The Secret of the Golden Flower, Turning the Light Around and Tuning the Breathing.

Translated by Thomas Cleary

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The true mind is natural and does not come from outside. It is not confined to cultivation in past, present, or future. The dearest and most intimate thing there could be is to preserve the mind yourself. If you know the mind, you will reach transcendence by preserving it. If you are confused about the mind and ignore it, you will fall into miserable states. Thus we know that the Buddhas of all times consider the inherent mind to be the basic teacher.

Chan Master Hongren (602-675 C.E.), Treatise on the Supreme Vehicle

Minding Mind: A Course in Basic Meditation by Thomas Cleary

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If there beginners learning to sit and meditate, follow the directions in The Scripture on Visualization of Infinite Life: sit straight, accurately aware, with eyes closed and mouth shut. Mentally gaze evenly before you, as near or far as you wish: visualize the sun preserving the true mind, keeping your attention on this uninterruptedly. Then tune your breathing, not letting it fluctuate between coarseness and fineness, for that causes illness and pain.

Chan Master Hongren (602-675 C.E.), Treatise on the Supreme Vehicle

Minding Mind: A Course in Basic Meditation edited and translator by Thomas Cleary

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The word meditation is a very poor substitute for the original term bhāvanā, which means ‘culture’ or ‘development’, i.e., mental culture or mental development. The Buddhist bhāvanā, properly speaking, is mental culture in the full sense of the term. It aims at cleansing the mind of impurities and disturbances, such as lustful desires, hatred, ill-will, indolence, worries and restlessness, sceptical doubts, and cultivating such qualities as concentration, awareness, intelligence, will, energy, the analytically faculty, confidence, joy, tranquility, leading finally to the attainment of highest wisdom which sees the nature of things as they are, and realizes the Ultimate Truth, Nirvana.

Walpola Rahula, What the Buddha Taught. (via modernshxmxn)

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In a short time we will have electronic computers quite capable of solving the problems of epistemology, ontology and the like. What we need is a philosopher who cannot be replaced by a machine. With the invention of electronics, exactness and precision are out of date virtues. The world of tomorrow is wailing for its demon-lover with its atonal music, its aperspective paintings, it’s non-chronological (stream of consciousness) novels, its beat poetry, its psycho-cybernetic attitude to life.

 P.J. Saher, Eastern Wisdom and Western Thought: The Psycho-Cybernetics of Comparative Ideas in Religion and Philosophy