Author Topic: "Watching" the breath  (Read 2231 times)


  • Guest
"Watching" the breath
« on: October 11, 2010, 04:12:18 AM »
Greetings all!  :)

I getting back into meditation after many years. When I did it previously (about a decade ago), I don't think I fully understood the process. This time around, I want to make sure I understand the methodology and the rationale behind it.

So I have question about Shamatha meditation and "watching the breath." Should the breathing be intentional? Or should I be trying to notice my body breathing on its own? Does that make sense?

I've read a few web pages and posts on this forum that you should be aware of your body and the impact of your breathing on it. But it seems like that could be done whether you're controlling your inhaling/exhaling or whether your just trying to let your body breathe.

I've always understood Vipassana to involve watching your body breath and NOT actually controlling the breathing pattern, but I don't know if that same applies to Shamatha.

Thanks to anyone who can help!

Morning Dew

  • Guest
Re: "Watching" the breath
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2010, 08:27:23 AM »
Hi there :)

Fabricate nothing. Meaning do not control your breath or anything else. Sit with an eracted spine. With each in and outbreath calm the body. Calm body will result a calm mind. Calm body releases calming hormones. On the oposite stiff stressed body releases stress hormones.
Let the breath be. The breath is part of the whole body so once the body is calm the breathing will calm down too.
Be aware of the whole body. Focus on nothing.
Do keep your body still also your eye balls. I keep my eye lids closed and eye balls silled. From there i feel the whole body.
My ego self tend to roam via my eyes. All memories are somewhere behind the eyes. Impression-Expression.
Calm the body and let the ego self be as it is. Do not desire results nor reject unconfortable results. Just sit in calm abiding.
Do not rush a thing. Take it easy on urself. This is a process. Be patiante.

Welcome aboard friend :)


  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: "Watching" the breath
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2010, 09:54:32 PM »

Notice the bodily sensations as you breathe. Put your awareness on that.

You can't "follow the breath" per se - as the breath has no sense organs in it - it's just air that enters and leaves your body - with a higher ratio of CO2 than O2 on leaving than when it entered.

What you can concentrate your awareness on (in a relaxed but awake manner) is the bodily sensations that occur whilst you breathe. These include but are not limited to the sensation of the air on parts of your skin and in your throat and lungs, the movement of muscles and bones to accommodate the influx and out-flux of air. Don't concentrate on anything in particular - notice all of it without distinction and without judgement.

Breathe in sensitive to the body and calming the body, breathe out sensitive to the body and calming the body.

This will activate strong neurotransmitters in the brain which allow the mind to naturally calm the flow of thoughts without repression or force.

It takes time and it's boring but those two things are your best friends.

Warm welcome,

~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~


  • Guest
Re: "Watching" the breath
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2010, 11:27:36 AM »
Hi someguy,

Am in a similar position (returning after 10 years).

Just posted re difficulties developing soft breath.

I am wondering whether, like me, your breathing just doesn't seem the same as when younger.
And that this is distracting (in itself).

Or are you just taking more seriously and looking at the finer points of technique ?


  • Guest
Re: "Watching" the breath
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2010, 02:23:51 PM »
Slowy ... slowly ... allow yourself to notice that you are breathing.  Become aware that you are breathing.

(that is all)


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