|HOW TO BREATHE, Continued:
1 | 2 |
DEEP CONCENTRATION HAS the effect of slowing down the
thought process and speeding up the awareness viewing it. The result is
the enhanced ability to examine the thought process. Concentration is our
microscope for viewing subtle internal states. We use the focus of
attention to achieve one-pointedness of mind with calm and constantly
applied attention. Without a fixed reference point you get lost, overcome
by the ceaseless flowing round and round within the mind.
THE NEXT QUESTION we need to address is: Why
choose breathing as the primary object of meditation? Why not something a
bit more interesting? Answers to this are numerous. A useful object of
meditation should be one that promotes mindfulness. It should be portable,
easily available and cheap. It should also be something that will not
embroil us in those states of mind from which we are trying to free
ourselves, such as greed, anger and delusion. Breathing satisfies all
these criteria and more. Breathing is something common to every human
being. We all carry it with us wherever we go. It is always there,
constantly available, never ceasing from birth to death, and it costs
Breathing is normally an involuntary process,
proceeding at its own pace without a conscious will. Yet a single act of
will can slow it down or speed it up. Make it long and smooth or short and
choppy. The balance between involuntary breathing and forced manipulation
of breath is quite delicate. And there are lessons to be learned here on
the nature of will and desire. Then, too, that point at the tip of the
nostril can be viewed as a sort of a window between the inner and outer
worlds. It is a nexus point and energy-transfer spot where stuff from the
outside world moves in and becomes a part of what we call ‘me,’ and where
a part of me flows forth to merge with the outside world. There are
lessons to be learned here about self-concept and how we form
Where Is It?
THE FIRST STEP IN USING THE BREATHE as an object of meditation is to find it. What you are looking for is the physical, tactile sensation of the air that passes in and out of the nostrils. This is usually just inside the tip of the nose. But the exact spot varies from one person to another, depending on the shape of the nose. To find your own point, take a quick deep breath and notice the point just inside the nose or on the upper lip where you have the most distinct sensation of passing air.
Now exhale and notice the sensation at the same
point. It is from this point that you will follow the whole passage of
breath. Once you have located your own breath point with clarity, don’t
deviate from that spot. Use this single point in order to keep your
attention fixed. Without having selected such a point, you will find
yourself moving in and out of the nose, going up and down the windpipe,
eternally chasing after the breath, which you can never catch because it
keeps changing, moving and flowing.
PLEASE GO TO PAGE 3: Bumblebee Mind...