The difference between observing the breath and resting in the breath Download
There can be a distancing that occurs when trying to observe the breath. Resting doesn’t involve struggle and increases quality of attention.
EXCERPT – full transcript in progress
And this is a very, very ancient method or approach and Buddhist practice. We use the breath as a basis in which to move on, which to move into the union of knowing and experience. Now, as I said yesterday, this particular technique is based on the Full Awareness of Breathing Sutra, which along with the Foundation of Mindfulness Sutra are the two core sutras of the Theravada tradition, and also the basis of the Zen tradition and it’s well worth reading these, neither of them are particularly long. They’re, they’re quite concise and compact. There’s endless amount of commentary that can be given on them and Thích Nhất Hạnh many of you I know, have done retreats with him. There’s a very, quite an amazingly skillful teacher. Uh, I’m very, very impressed with his ability to take what can be quite abstruse aspects of others’ practice. I make them very alive and very, very accessible. And 1989, it was at the retreat with him that he was giving to mental health professionals. And he took the bit of Abby Dharma describing the emergence of experience consciousness and a subject object framework, which has really dry technical stuff. And just, it was, it was just beautiful and made it very, very alive. And so he has taken the full awareness of breathing truck, which has actually 16 steps and it brought it down to five.
Now I say steps, but this is really to be understood as phases. So it’s not like you walk through this, but you work in one phase and it will mature into a second. And then to the third into the fourth, the fifth, and that’s very important is to allow that maturation to take place naturally, rather than trying to force it. And the other element that tick not Han brings into this, which is so useful is how to hold something in attention. And the image he uses is that of holding a newborn, your own newborn child and the adjective that is probably most apt in English for this is tenderly. The adverb and tenderness is very interesting word because While it certainly carries the idea of gentleness, It’s not just soft. There has to be something behind that tenderness. So when you’re holding a baby, you can’t be completely relaxed because you actually have to support and hold it at the same time. If you’re holding with any kind of tension or something like that, then you just hurt the child.
There are many parts of our experience, which we, for one reason or another, are alienated to a greater or lesser extent. And this technique is about holding those elements of our experience from which we are alienated or they’re alienated from us. I, there is a real sense of separation. So I want to do this in the form of a guided meditation so that you have the idea that, and to begin with, I want you to choose a painful experience, a difficult feeling, maybe a situation interaction that is painful for you and positive interactions can be difficult, just as much as negative ones.
So it doesn’t have to be necessarily negatively toned. It can be a problem, an emotion, or some actual physical or emotional pain. And just bringing to mind noticed like I’m here and that’s there and we don’t want to deal with it. That’s how we all are. We’d be much happier if it would just go away, but it’s part of our experience. And because we are ultimately not separate from our experience sooner or later, it’s going to, we’re going to have to deal with it by pushing it away or erecting a wall or not dealing with it. We are actually creating an imbalance in our world of experience, which manifests as imbalance in their lives can lead to the case of interactions with other people, the disruption, or even the dissolution of relationships, which we value. So this is quite important. So the first phase is breathing in, I experienced this and I’m going to use the word feeling, but it could be emotion. It could be pain, it could be problem. And you just fill in the blank. So let’s just do that. And you take this and you say breathing in, I feel this pain, you breathe in, breathing out……