|Gerald Vest: Meditation on the Out-Breath|
7 comments13 Mar 2006 @ 03:12 by vibrani : Yup
it is the point between the in and out breath, when we are closest to being "dead" in a physical sense that is what I think they're talking about, that is the goal of SOME types of meditations.
Perhaps that is the case or it could also be the other -- closest to life as it truly is. This author and some others suggest that there is a pause between the in and out-breath that could be our point of awakening. For me it is very subtle and difficult to notice the out-breath, but am giving it a try for now.
Thanks for responding, Vibrani.
13 Mar 2006 @ 11:58 by jstarrs : It' really seems to be..
..a question of developing mindfulness, doesn't it?
I think without this kind of training, getting to know what is our mind and how to develop it's qualities, it's extremely difficult to be able to help others fully.
Alex Berzin, one of the first western buddhist translator/practitioners has a fine section on his site on Sensitivity Training, in which he about sets about developing a set of meditative exercises for recognizing and enhancing the five types of awareness as a method for improving sensitivity skills.
Here's the section from his site (scroll down):
Thanks J. You have given me some very good articles to read. I do like the concept of "balanced sensitivity" as I have been overly sensitive most of life. Seems we do need to become mindful and find our equilibrium in all that we do. Like one of the articles suggested, we are often too quick to react and could become better listeners...something like that.
By the way, the piture shows several of my students giving our "stressout program" to students and others at a university event this past week. I believe that they gave over 40 free chair (type)massages. The giver and receiver were very positive about the experience and they left the event feeling very good about themselves and encouraged by the power of touch with the vitality of the breath--definitely a great mindful activity.
17 Mar 2006 @ 05:40 by vibrani : While breath
can be used for a variety of reasons and meditations, I think it's more important what you get out of a meditation and what is your goal. For instance, when wanting to connect with the universal consciousness, your soul, I think that when you try to keep your brain focused on something during a meditation, you're not in a very receptive mode. It's like, oh I need to breathe in now, how many counts did I breathe, now I need to breathe out and hold it, and then I need to - it's all that chatter that is what one is supposed to let flow and release and hush during meditation. Similar to certain tantric exercises that are all brain and no heart. Missing the point!
17 Mar 2006 @ 09:06 by jstarrs : Absolutely...
...it depends on the goal, I agree.
If the goal is to develop concentration or samatha, then excercises such as concentrating on the breath can be very helpful - the chattering mind subsides after a while, to the deeper levels and as the breath is constant, is a good 'fixing' point.
Some paths don't posit the existence of a 'soul' and so wouldn't 'connect' with it but I guess that is not so important as having a kind heart.
Talking of which, I'd be interested to hear about those tantric excercises that are all brain & no heart?
17 Mar 2006 @ 14:51 by jerryvest : Yes, I agree...however, these tools
can assist us when we are beginning to balance our energies. For example, I have been practicing some Tibetan "Kum Nye" methods for many years and periodically return to them for support. Last night, I introduced a couple of meditations to my students as meditation and relaxation is a new experience for most of them.
One exercise that I especially love is focusing on the throat chakra as I breathe evenly through my mouth and nose. I find that this center helps distribute the energy to the brain and to the heart in equal proportion. It's much like a switch that gets turned on when we become conscious of this center. As we know, academia is primarily a head trip so our heart and our love for one another is not often supported.
As I traditionally form a closing circle of unity in my classes, this evening as we held hands to experience our energies, I asked everyone to observe their out-breath. We all noticed that our energy was vibrating and pulsating in a very powerful way that did not occur while just holding hands during our previous sessions. Several students began to laugh with joy.
Obviously, there are many forms and goals for meditation. My experience has led me see that everything is my meditation and nothing is excluded when we are mindful.
Thanks for your contributions to this discussion. BTW, today is St. Patrick's Day, but more importantly, it is our special day to introduce our Global Touch Project with caregivers and professionals here in New Mexico. We have over 60 participants enrolled and expect that our new health promotion organization will get off to a great start. Do tune in to our energies as we will be sending our love and best wishes to you and to humanity as One.
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