Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Breath Meditation

techietechie India Veteran

I've been trying this for a while now. Watching the in and out breaths.

Sometimes after i breathe out, I notice that I do not immediately breathe in. It is like there is a somewhat long gap before I breathe in again.

Must I avoid this gap and breathe in as soon as I breathe out?

Or should there be no control whatsoever?

Your ideas?

Comments

  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    I don't think you're supposed to avoid or not avoid anything @techie but just calm your body, the mind and breathe naturally without any thought about it, I could be wrong though.

    That being said, I have had a similar issue where I try and breathe slowly but I find myself having to breathe faster because I feel like I'm running out of air. This could also be because I haven't been able to calm myself as much as I should and therefore I am trying to breath like I'm relaxed but I'm not actually relaxed. What I'm trying now is to learn how to breath without really thinking about it.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    This has most likely been covered before, but I'll say I read something quite helpful.
    It says that when you breathe in and then are about to breathe out, you allow yourself to simply watch for when it happens naturally. Clearly, there are no hard/fast rules because breathing in and out is - natural! It also used the visual of a cat watching the mouse hole - when the mouse comes out, it comes out and you wait for it to come out. And you're right - no control whatsoever. Yes.

    Kaydeekay
  • My breathing was a constant tension of not breathing or very high, tight breathing for many years.

    When the breath is soft and relaxed ... how wonderful. One of the reasons I value mantra so highly is because of the incidental healthy breathing patterns.

    If we watch the breath we may judge it and try to alter it. Which is OK, if we wish to release tension. It can be useful to do a pranayama exercise such as alternate nostril as a prelude, or a round of mantras.

    However let us assume just the breath and I will assume in and out through the nose? Place the tongue to the roof of the mouth and slightly back, let the mouth open slightly. This may relax the in breath ...

  • I think that very often I walk around taking short breaths in and out. It is only when I think about it, that I allow myself the pleasure of taking a deep breath.

    My teacher suggested as an exercise that I take 20 deep breaths and let them out without holding them as a prelude to meditation and easing into a relaxed state.

    lobster
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited January 31

    @techie said:
    I've been trying this for a while now. Watching the in and out breaths.

    Sometimes after i breathe out, I notice that I do not immediately breathe in. It is like there is a somewhat long gap before I breathe in again.

    Must I avoid this gap and breathe in as soon as I breathe out?

    Or should there be no control whatsoever?

    Your ideas?

    It depends on which sect's meditation techniques you're following. Tibetans generally teach that you should have a little gap at the end of the out breath--a brief pause, and at the end of the in-breath, as well. IDK; perhaps if you prolong it too long, you dilute the calming effect on the nervous system and mind that the breathing has. Just a guess.

    Zen teaches that no such pause is necessary. IIRC, they don't teach that you need to engage the diaphragm on the in-breath, either. They recommend more of a natural breathing technique. The main thing for them is to keep the focus on the breath. But in my experience, that's an easier task if you calm the mind via the Tibetan deep-breathing method. It's been clinically proven to still the mind and turn off the stress hormones and the sympathetic nervous system that's at the root of the over-active mind.

    lobster
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    Ride in the passenger seat instead of the driver seat.

    lobsterdhammachick
  • @JaySon said:
    Ride in the passenger seat instead of the driver seat.

    Interesting comment.
    We are not a back seat driver but a ride in the country ... In other words a breath of fresh air. If you go for a strenuous walk or run, the breath is found of itself. By attending it or being present to its presence, the noting effects the quality/softness ...

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @techie said:
    I've been trying this for a while now. Watching the in and out breaths.

    Sometimes after i breathe out, I notice that I do not immediately breathe in. It is like there is a somewhat long gap before I breathe in again.

    Must I avoid this gap and breathe in as soon as I breathe out?

    Or should there be no control whatsoever?

    Your ideas?

    Just breathe naturally and pay attention to what is happening. The movements in your chest and abdomen, perhaps air passing through the nostrils, perhaps the sounds of your breath.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @Richdawson said:> My teacher suggested as an exercise that I take 20 deep breaths and let them out without holding them as a prelude to meditation and easing into a relaxed state.

    Yes, and a short period of deep breathing can also be useful to refocus concentration if your attention has wandered.

    lobster
  • IronRabbitIronRabbit Veteran
    edited February 12

    I find refuge in the long gap at the end of exhalation. It allows for autonomous bodily inhalation - sometimes long - mostly regular. However, the gap is a very quiet space in between breaths, sort of like, well, a sort of dead space. More precisely - emptiness......briefly.

    lobsterKerome
  • Good point @IronRabbit the emptyness, the stillness, the attention and nearness to death (no breath) is particularly present for me on the completion of the out breath.

    A soft and natural breath, takes care of itself. In Tai Chi I was taught to not breath consciously, whilst in yoga, conscious breathing is the norm.

    Soft and relaxed breathing and being is a positive reinforcing loop.

    In a sense this is why the Taoists say, 'Great Yin overcomes Great Yang'.

    Be kind ... to your breath :)

    Dhammika
  • @techie said:
    I've been trying this for a while now. Watching the in and out breaths.

    Sometimes after i breathe out, I notice that I do not immediately breathe in. It is like there is a somewhat long gap before I breathe in again.

    Must I avoid this gap and breathe in as soon as I breathe out?

    Or should there be no control whatsoever?

    Your ideas?

    What I would try to do during meditation is separate mind, body, and nature. Mind is just mind, body is just body, and air is just air, meanwhile, trying to not lose focus and falling into fatigue or drowsiness (keep motivated). You dont really want to focus on "control". You want to try to let everything rise and fall by themselves.

    If your object of meditation is the "breath", then you want to fall back to that, even though your attention may have moved onto noticing the gap of the in and out breath, or simply adjust the attention towards the body or mind and reapply when needed.

  • @techie said:
    Sometimes after i breathe out, I notice that I do not immediately breathe in. It is like there is a somewhat long gap before I breathe in again.

    This is normal as your breath slows down in meditation.

    Must I avoid this gap and breathe in as soon as I breathe out?

    No. Let it happen.

    Or should there be no control whatsoever?

    The control is that you watch it closely. Breath actually exists on the boundary of control and autonomy, conscious and unconscious. That's why it's so powerful. Also, air is important :)

    lobster
  • @Daozen is right.

    The 'meditative breath' is slow, natural and deep. From my experience it comes when the mind, emotions and body are relaxed but attentive. The breath is a wonderful feedback device, hence its usage in dharma for millennia ...

    Relax, gentle focus, empty ...

    Don't slump or trump (audible fart) :p pay attention, practice regularly. There are no shortcuts but many possible supporting practices ... Yep usual advice ... o:)

  • shep83shep83 wisbech, cambigshire, uk Explorer

    Personally when i breath in i like to hold my breath for a second before exhaling i find it adds to the euphoria of the experience.

Sign In or Register to comment.