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Two Questions please?

edited June 2009 in Meditation
When I practice Mindful breathing, I find myself yawning and not really able to control my breathing. I am brand new to this, so any tips are very much appreciated.
Also, I want so badly to practice "Touch The Earth" but I have very very bad knees and it is just too painful for me to get down.


  • GlowGlow Veteran
    edited May 2009
    In mindfulness of breathing practice, you don't need to control the breath but just let your attention rest on it gently. The breath will change, become shallower or more tense or more relaxed and deep from moment to moment. Your job is simply to experience it. The Buddha even mentions observing different qualities of breathing in the Anapanasati Sutta: "Breathing in a long breath, know that you are breathing in a long breath. Breathing in a short breath, know that you are breathing in a short breath."

    The traditional system of breath meditation begins with first becoming aware of the body. Just get a sense of the body - how it's situated, your posture, what it feels like to be alive. Notice the natural straightness of the body. It's important to have a posture that is comfortable for you and does not cause you to expend too much energy. If sitting cross-legged is painful, you have the option of using a chair.

    Sitting in lotus position requires a lot of flexibility. It's essentially a yoga asana, and requires you to gain that flexibility over a long period of time - you can't expect to be able to do it the first time around. In the beginning stages of meditation you want to have as few distractions as possible, and so a chair for formal practice is just fine. You can develop flexibility of the hips and knees independently during your regular exercise routine.

    When you relax into the body, you can find that the breath "takes itself." It naturally relaxes into its own rhythm without your having to control it. Simply allow your attention to rest on this breathing.
  • LesCLesC Bermuda Veteran
    edited May 2009
    Being new to Mindful Breathing myself, I would simply say to myself, "That's the mind making me yawn because it doesn't want to stay focused on the breathing", and go back to focusing on the breath. In time the yawning will stop when the mind realizes you won't be distracted. I may be wrong, and stand to be corrected, but that's how I would approach it.
  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran
    edited May 2009
    How you sit is almost irrelevant. I regularly sit in a chair when meditating.

    When yawning, attend to the experience of the yawning. It's not a problem in itself.
    Someone once asked a meditation instructor, "I keep fallling asleep when I meditate. What can I do about it?"

    "Well, what's the problem?"

    "Well, I'm falling asleep."

    "There's no problem with that."

    "Um, OK."

    "...at the moment you fall asleep, is there a greater volume of air passing through your left nostril, or your right nostril?"

    "I don't know."

    "Ah, that's a problem."
  • edited May 2009
    Thankyou so much! I dont feel like I'm failing now!!!
  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran
    edited May 2009
    It's a practice. The only way to fail at a practice is not to practice. :)
  • BrigidBrigid Veteran
    edited May 2009
    Great answers! Good thread here.
  • LesCLesC Bermuda Veteran
    edited May 2009
    I forgot answer your second question... Me and Jerbear have a contest who has the worst back... I think I'm winning...

    I use a Secretary's Chair, comfortable, good back support, all in all perfect... and isn't part of the objective to be comfortable?

    Whatever works Suze... whatever works!
  • edited June 2009
    Thankyou LesC....I think I might be trying to take things to seriously. I just don't want to do anything wrong.
  • LesCLesC Bermuda Veteran
    edited June 2009
    There is no wrong....
  • edited June 2009
    :D (huge smile on my face)
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