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Strings Too Tight, Strings Too Slack...

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  • Strings Too Tight, Strings Too Slack...

    Hi All,

    This Message here is me asking advice regarding finding the right level of concentration we should hold on the breath

    I began Meditating A year ago, as for 8 years since 18 I had an awfully restless mind. I had excellent results at the beginning. The teachers at my local Buddhist Center would teach us to watch our breath and when we noticed our thoughts going else where, to simply notice this was happening and come back to the breath. This worked very well and I had the greatest peace in my life for years...what a lovely feeling that was. However using this method I had been taught, when I first came across difficulties in meditation my mind began to cling to these experiences, and it would automatically force the awareness of breathing or force looking out for thoughts to regain awareness of the breath. 2nd noble truth Meditation! not so much fun.

    I then found Ajahn Brahmali's and Ajahn Brahm's Instructions for Meditation (which I am very happy to have, what wonderful people they are). They seem to give very different instructions from what I have heard any where else, which seem to be a great antidote to the craving of good meditations. Just allowing the Mindfulness to spontaneously arise is the message I hear being said. I have never heard this anywhere else but here.

    I am only left with one bit of confusion. I have come regularly come across instructions in meditation explaining that when in mediation it is important to find the right balance of concentration on the breath. If I allow the mindfulness to just simply arrive sometimes I feel as though I am missing the breath and doing the opposite of forcing and just not paying enough attention on the breath. Finding this right balance of concentration is where I lack confidence in my practice.

    Can you shed any light on this?

    PS Thank you for all your teachings they are marvelous

    With Metta

  • #2
    Dear Jamie,

    It sounds like you are doing well in your meditation practice. Perhaps it is worth trying a practice that brightens up the mind, prior to watching the breath. This could be metta practice, recollection of generous acts, reflecting on keeping the precepts, recollecting the great qualities of the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. All these meditation themes can give the mind a bit of joy which in turn can make watching the breath easier and more pleasant.

    I hope this helps.

    With metta,

    Bhante Jhanarato

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    • #3
      Sadhu, Venerable, I wasn't the one asking question here, but you've answered my current question.

      _/\_

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      • #4
        Dear Dheerayupa,

        Well, one of the nice things about a forum vs. personal emails is that we need never ask the same question twice. :-)

        With metta,

        J.R.

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