Wildmind Buddhist Meditation

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Travelling into the breath

Day 1

Preparing myself with consideration of my back problem, balancing the pelvis, and seeing that my neck is as least as possible strained. I feel a slight tension in my belly and this possibly has to do with an expectation of resistance to listening once again to the instructions of setting up a posture, a resistance to resistance, i breath into it and i experience that the resistance doesn’t come.

For a moment i am aware that i am sitting a bit sloped, sometimes i have the impression that my right shoulder is hanging more towards the earth than my left one after the injury at work.

So adjusting this posture…

…sitting with a feeling of stability, groundedness and interest in the breathing, i breathe in thousands a times a day, breath out thousands a time a day and for most of the time i am not aware of this breath, ‘my’ breath…

dropping the counting very quickly and rather spontaneously, it feels natural not to count and i focus my attention on the outbreath in the first stage and on the inbreath in the second stage…

i wonder if this dropping of the counting has to do with a subtle fear of failure when i would notice that after one or two counts my mind already has drifted

…my mind is drifting as well when not counting

…i try to follow the natural flow of the breath and i see that my breath is faster as i had thought it would be

… i wonder what is then this natural flow? I have the feeling that however i breath my breath is for most of the time determined by my state of mind

…what then is the natural flow? I am a bit puzzled also because i realise that i am nearly always altering my breath somehow, wanting to change the breath, wanting the breath to become calmer and more still

…i return to the coming and going of the breath, focusing on the inbreath (second stage), being aware of the stability in my lower body

…the neck is hurting, there is more strain so turning the head now and then to loosen up the pain and strain, sometimes drawing circles with the neck to bring some relief

…after this i go back to the breath, the following of the breath, in and out, without focusing on the in or outbreath, just following the breath and reflecting again on the natural flow of the breath

…it comes to my mind that when i am cycling and climbing for instance i am following the natural flow of my breath, due to the severe efforts i just follow my breath, it doesn’t feel as if i have a choice then

…but sitting in meditation it is not as clear as that… i suspect in this meditation, the Mindfulness of Breathing, i am confronted more than elsewhere, with a difficulty of giving myself over to what really happens in the moment

…in the fourth stage the comparison with the butterfly like mind matches my experience, the quality of the butterfly settling down on a flower with lightness and sensitivity as well as the tendency to move quickly towards another flower.

Day 2

It’s in the afternoon, normally the least good time for me to meditate as i tend to fall asleep most of the time when i do meditate in these period. But I will give it a go as i am in the process of writing a diary and i am always glad when it is finished, not in a demonstrative way or so but more on a subtle level

…i guess it has to do with stressing myself

…in theory i have time this evening but i want to get it done with as soon as possible…the general feeling in this meditation was a sense of relaxation, of ease

…of being ok with all what was going on, i was decisive not to fall asleep and i was interested in the natural flow of the breath

…i definitely had a tendency to doze off but i counteracted this by opening my eyes for some time and i just went on, breathing in and out, feeling quite at ease with how it all went, not bothering about if the breath was too slow, too shallow, too fast, etc

…i felt the breathing as ok and i thought that if i do not interfere with the body and the breath at all, simply by breathing and following this breath through sensitive listening to the body and feeling — really feeling — where the inbreath stops and pauses and the outbreath begins then it is all right

…no interferences of my mind and opinions and all kinds of judgments

…i realised that my breath went faster than i normally should prefer but i felt all right with it and at ease so what’s the problem? I felt content albeit a careful contentment

…thinking it over now, i just carried on with it and i was not so much in the grip of my own judgments

…so being tired has partly a good influence on diminishing all kinds of resistance (like for instance not wanting to give oneself over to what is going on)

Day 3

Sitting like a rock with a firm contact with the earth below. I am intending to lower my expectations and enjoy the breath. I have done some reflection on the meditations of the last two days and it seems that i sometimes don’t trust my own experience or that i want the breath to be something special instead of leaving the breath being breath

…so really feeling grounded, my eyelids so to speak don’t have the slightest intention to open up, they enjoy staying closed and focused, my hands are in my lap as if they are sculptured in that way and they feel light and right, correct, precise

…i feel like i am sailing on the flow of the breath and now and then there are little boats who draw my attention but rather quickly they are blown away by the wind

…several thoughts are crossing my mind, about football, retreats, the convention of next year, ice cream etc but they are little stories who seems to loose their reliability, boats blown away

…i enjoy sitting like a rock, being stable, feeling my feet and legs firmly on the floor, seeing the thoughts so now and then growing stiller, becoming more silenced

…i realise that it is a tricky one for me in this situation to grasp the silence, wanting that no more thoughts at all will come but i can gently and with a smile meet new thoughts and let them pass

…i don’t have to be perfectly still. Feeling a kind of refreshing awareness, curious about the breath going in and out around the tip of my nose, curious about the different sensations

…closing the meditation enjoying once more the groundedness  and stability of my sitting in this session…

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About Arthakusalin

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Arthakusalin lives with his family in Oudenaarde, an old Flemish city known for its tapestries. He is involved in the Triratna buddhist centre in Ghent which he considers to be "probably the most beautiful city in the world." He was raised in the Western part of Belgium, not far from Ypres, a city who still breathes the tragic stories of the first World War. After living a few years without direction or sense he decided to try to live as ethically as possible, even if life would have no sense at all. A few months later he met the Dharma and was impressed with the clarity, the simplicity and by having the responsibility for his own life. For the time being he works with adolescents with mental disabilities coming from social classes with lesser opportunities. Read more articles by .

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