Wildmind Buddhist Meditation

Mindfulness of Breathing

Sit : Love : Give

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More on Stage 1

beachJust tried the first stage of the Mindfulness of Breathing?

Kinda anxious about getting on to stage two?

Okay. Why not consolidate what you’ve already learned, rather than rushing on to do the whole practice as quickly as possible? Heck, the chances are you want to learn to meditate because life is so rushed and hectic, so why not start to relax. What’s the rush? Hang loose!

Try doing the first stage of the practice for a few days. Maybe even try to do it more than once every day. Why not take a few minutes now to plan exactly when you’re going to do it?

We suggest you try five to ten minutes in the morning, and the same in the evening, just before you go to bed. Or maybe a few minutes on your lunch-break? There’s no right or wrong time to meditate, so see what suits you.

So try that for maybe three days, and then come back and learn the second stage. Give that a few days (doing both stages) and then come back again. And so on.

You can also think about touching base with your breathing at various times throughout the day. This could be as simple as taking one full, mindful breath in between activities. Or you might stay in touch with your breathing while you’re having a conversation or listening to a presentation. Instead of sitting on the train or bus, letting your mind wander, or (since we don’t like inactivity these days) checking your text messages, try just paying attention to your breathing. If you’re walking — even if it’s just from the car to the building in which you work, or from your office desk to the bathroom — pay attention to your breathing. The breathing is always there for you to notice. And noticing it will always help calm your mind, at least a little.

Play around with the out-breath. Any time you become aware of the breathing during the day, explore the qualities of the out-breath. Notice how the body lets go every time you exhale. Notice how emotions like relief and contentment relate to exhaling.

While you’re exploring stage one, you can try to answer any questions you have by exploring the site, and explore the links on this page that deal with stage one.

Comments

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Comment from Jill
Time: March 22, 2010, 11:34 pm

I noticed that during Stage 1 while I was trying to relax my muscles that they kept twitching. It was really hard to relax them while the twitching was happening. Is this normal? Will it go away after a while?

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Comment from Bodhipaksa
Time: March 24, 2010, 12:24 am

Hi Jill,

Yeah, this kind of thing can happen. I once had a twitch in my back that went on (while I was meditating) for several years. But that’s probably extreme, and I’d expect that your twitches will in fact go away after a while.

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Comment from nancy
Time: August 31, 2010, 5:30 am

Please let me know where I can get the text of “Guided Meditation for Calmness,Awareness And Love”?

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Comment from Bodhipaksa
Time: August 31, 2010, 8:12 am

I’m afraid I’ve never done a transcript.

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Comment from Lucy
Time: January 25, 2011, 4:15 am

Hi Bodhipaksa, thank you for this wonderful website. I started a week ago stage 1 of mindfulness of breathing and only two days later my husband asked to join me. The experience as been a positive one. I’m not new at meditation but I felt an urge to go back to the basics as I felt stuck and not being able to move forward. I miss a spiritual community to support and encourage my practice. But in Ghana, Africa, I haven’t found any so far. Would you have any references for meditation in this country? I’ve searched the Internet and asked around but so far I only found christian or muslim cults. Thank you ahead.

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Comment from Bodhipaksa
Time: January 25, 2011, 7:27 pm

Hi, Lucy.

Thanks for sharing your story. I’m afraid I don’t have any Buddhist or meditator contacts in Ghana! Perhaps you could start a group? If you can find people who are interested in meditation I’d be happy to donate some CDs that you could listen to together.

All the best,
Bodhipaksa

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Comment from Lucy
Time: January 27, 2011, 4:21 am

Hi Bodhipaksa, thank you for the quick reply and suggestion. I will contact some people to find about their willingness and availability to start a group, which would be wonderful! After that, i’ll get back to you.
Cheers.

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Comment from Bodhipaksa
Time: February 2, 2011, 11:58 am

Good luck!

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Comment from jeremy
Time: June 2, 2012, 10:15 am

Hi,

Could you please advise me on the most skillful way in which to deal with the problem of a chronically, at least partially, blocked nose.

In particular I find it much harder to feel the sensation of the inhalation in comparison to the exhalation at the tip of the nose, but I am unsure if this is a manifestation of the nose blockage.
Many thanks in anticipation.
Jeremy

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Comment from Bodhipaksa
Time: June 4, 2012, 8:19 am

Hi, Jeremy.

I rarely have a blocked nose, even when I have a bad cold, so this isn’t something I have any direct experience with. I have as an experiment, though, tried meditating through my mouth, and I’ve found that it works well. The sensations on the lips are a bit stronger than those on the rims of the nostrils, but I think they work quite well for the fourth stage of the practice.

For the first few stages I’d suggest paying more attention to the movements of the body — abdomen, chest, shoulders, etc., — as well as the sensations in the air passages, rather than at the rims of the nostrils.

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Comment from naveen
Time: November 20, 2012, 1:21 pm

Hi,
I have been practicing mindfullness for a month now. Today when i was practicing after about 15 minutes i felt dizziness, like my head was moving and i will vomit. What can be the reason of that ?

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Comment from Bodhipaksa
Time: November 20, 2012, 1:27 pm

Hi, Naveen.

I’ve no way of knowing. Perhaps you’re coming down with an illness, of your blood sugar was low. Perhaps it’s something to do with your meditation practice. I’d suggest that you just continue and see if it’s a recurring pattern.

All the best,
Bodhipaksa

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Comment from naveen
Time: November 20, 2012, 1:45 pm

Hi,
Thanks for replying so fast :) .
I fasted today and this session was in night after 8 o clock, but i was fine all other time . This is the first time it happened. Lost focus from breath, focus went to something very fast moving inside my head(difficult to explain) and soon was feeling like i will vomit. Then i took some deep breaths and finished session in some time.
Maybe it was because of fast or because of me focusing on fast movement inside head, let’s see if it happens again.

Regards

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Comment from Bodhipaksa
Time: November 20, 2012, 2:07 pm

The fact that you were fasting may well be significant. That quick movement inside your head may also be significant. But as you say, let’s see if it happens again.

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Comment from naveen
Time: November 22, 2012, 1:59 am

Hi Bodhipaksa,
I can recognize it early when it’s beginning to happen, so i don’t think its going to be a problem in future :) .
My morning mindfullness practice session is about 1 hour after i wake up (after bath e.t.c) but in that one hour my mind is all over the place, worrying, planning … should i shift my practice session right after waking up ? how soon you do your morning practice ?

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Comment from Bodhipaksa
Time: November 27, 2012, 11:56 pm

Hi, Naveen.

I no longer meditate in the morning because I have two young children who need attention early on. In fact it’s usually they who wake me. So I meditate in the afternoon or evening.

But when I did meditate in the morning it was usually quite soon after rising.

All the best,
Bodhipaksa

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Comment from Vrajesh
Time: March 24, 2013, 10:13 am

hey bodhipaksa,

i have started and following your advice fully. i am building patience and gentleness with myself. As i treat myself roughly. During the body awareness phase i always think i cannot be aware or how do i feel my feet or other body parts. its always a thought. how can i just relax and focus, or how can i be aware? and i do see myself jumping and jumping. I always predict what you will say next….and its kind of uncomfortable. I have also learned that i do this everywhere in life. Even when playing basketball or talking to someone.

Thank you :)
With much gratitude
Vrajesh

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Comment from Bodhipaksa
Time: March 24, 2013, 1:56 pm

Hi, Vrajesh.

I’m glad to hear that you are building patience and gentleness with yourself. This takes time, of course, and accepting that is one way to practice patience and gentleness.

I’m not quite sure I understand your question. Are you saying that you think about body parts rather than simply experience them? We definitely need to simply notice the sensations as much as we can. You can try gently moving parts of the body as you notice the sensations. You can also start with the clearest sensations, such as pressure.

As far as all the predicting goes, just notice that you’re doing this, and try to let go of the habit of judging this. It takes time to let go of these habits, but the great thin is that you’re noticing it. This may be uncomfortable, but it’s a necessary first step, and a good one.

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Comment from Vrajesh
Time: March 24, 2013, 9:30 pm

To Bodhipaksha,

To be clear: i listen to your guided audio for stage 1. That aside i will try my best to explain to you what i experience during this stage. I have only done this stage twice. Therefore my lack of experience or practice may be the best answer to my concerns below. I wanted to run them by you first.

As soon as i have set up my posture, i begin at body awareness as the audio goes. i do not notice anything except, my feet touching the ground or my socks touching against my toes. When going further up my feet i cannot really feel my calves, or my thighs. i have to REALLY try. Does being aware involve your mind or in other words, do i have to consciously feel my feet or imagine them? because this is what it seems like i am doing. I am still experimenting with my posture as i take a few minutes to make some changes as needed right before i start.

Other things i do feel during is some tightness in my chest that develops maybe from forced breathing or my posture. I also feel myself sitting on the chair along with my shoulders that feel a little heavy and my hands in the “dhyana mudra” position.

Within a few minutes into the audio, i do start to calm down, breathing does tend to slightly become natural. As i take this to be a good sign.

My Goals for practicing meditation are as follows:
1) Enjoy the practice.
2) Develop clearer/calmer mind.
3) Anything else that comes with it. :)

My sense of purpose are as follows:
1) Set up conditions so that love/joy/happiness naturally arise in my life.
2) Cultivate kindness towards myself and others.
3) Learn what thought patterns cause my anxiety.

Am i planning too much? I want things to be simple and effortless effort.

“you cannot add simplicity, you can only remove complexity.”

Let me know what you think.

Thank you :)
With gratitude
Vrajesh.

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Comment from Bodhipaksa
Time: March 25, 2013, 1:10 pm

Hi, Vrajesh.

There’s a lot of wisdom in your goals and purpose. The important thing is not to cling to the idea of achieving these goals, and to be content to work from where you are. Where else can you start? And along those lines, if you don’t have much sensation in the calves, thighs, or any other part of the body, that’s just what you’re experiencing right now. That’ll change with practice. You can also gently tense and relax those parts of the body in order to get your mind used to noticing the sensations there.

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