Acquiring Breath Awareness

by Peter Carlson on January 22, 2015

During this dhamma dialogue, Peter fostered discussion of the preceding guided “acquiring breath awareness” meditition practice, posted just prior to this posting.  He explained the importance of the practice of vitakka and vicara, that is intentionally bring focus to the sensations of breathing, then to sustain that awareness.  Peter described the maturing of the practice of “aiming and sustaining” into one of the seven factors of awakening, dhamma vicaya, the investigation of mental phenomena.  The experience of those present for the preceding guided meditation was explored, particularly any benefits from the application of Mentholatum, a mentholated salve, at the rim of the nostrils.  The practice was intended to enhance sensations at the rim of the nostrils to create a more vivid target for the practice of vitakka and vicara.

This was followed by suggestions from Peter about ways to integrate mindful awareness of the breath into daily routines in order to provide a stable routine for interrupting unnecessary inner chatter.

Next weeks dhamma dialogue will explore the stanzas in the Anapanasati Sutta that encourage training the mind to experience a buoyant interest in breath awareness.

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