Focus on the sensation of the breath in the low belly. We draw our attention inward, feeling the weight and stability of the body supporting the gentle undulation of the inhale and exhale. We explore opening the eyes with a soft gaze while maintaining the awareness of the breath, gradually relaxing the technique as we slowly move out of our mediation.
Great course. I have been interested in mindfulness for a long time and have been reading books on it.
I have few questions.
1) I know we are supposed to observe our breath during the meditation, but when I try to observe it, I start breathing consciously, which makes me feel a bit uncomfortable(nothing serious, it is just that I start controlling my inhale and exhale consciously and I don't know how long they should be and because of that I have to take longer breaths to make myself feel normal again. ) . Any advice how to overcome this and how to keep my breathing natural and just observe it?
2) Another thing, do I have to do the meditations in the sequence you have posted or is it alright to do whichever I like and is it alright if I do one type of meditation more often than others or I have to keep an equilibrium in the practice?
3) Any book recommendation if I want to further my studies of Shamata meditation?
1) Whenever observation of the breath becomes too self conscious, relax the technique entirely. Quite literally, 'take a break'.
Sit without doing.
The point of this style of meditation practice is to alternate between a close observation of the breath, to train our ability to focus on one thing, with total relaxation or 'natural being'. Ideally, with familiarization of the practice, one begins to notice that mind itself can be naturally focused, relaxed, observant and spacious.
Imagine a photo that has yet to come into focus. Meditation highlights the mind in a similar way. Furthermore, once the details become clear, the ability to navigate easily within it, also avails itself.
Mohsin J 2) I recommend doing the meditation in the sequence until you have internalized the fundamentals of the technique. At that point I think it's fine to do whatever video you would like depending on your needs.
3) My favorite books on shamatha and on the view which forms the basis for this style of meditation are 'The Myth of Freedom' and 'Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism' both by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
I hope you find all of this helpful. Let me know if you have any further inquiries.
I ordered an audible version of the first book you recommended. I am deeply curious in this technique as it is challenging, but calming, and after both practices, I felt a widening of my awareness. For example, my neighborhood felt more spacious on a subsequent dog walk. This quickly ended with cars entering the story, but it was a neat perception. I had the same feeling today, sandwiching the meditation between a fast-paced yoga practice. Can you clarify the ocean breathing. Is the in-breath the current coming back? The wave coming back to shore as the out breath? And the pause is the moment before the current starts back in again? That is effective for me.