The simplicity of one breath

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Vermilion Lakes Sunrise
Photograph by Vitali Hantsevich, National Geographic Your Shot
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Until we can be totally focused on one breath, meditation will be a futile exercise of getting lost in thought after thought. In our society, the mind has been programmed to go fast, handle complex theory and glide on auto pilot.
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The mind resists going slow, being empty, focused on a single object.
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Master one breath, then practice with a series of three breaths. Simplicity and concentration need to be mastered first.
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This maybe a perfect warm up for a ten, twenty or thirty minute sit for the beginner or accomplished meditator.
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Words can not explain the importance of this concept. Mindfulness/Meditation is not an intellectual commodity, we have to sit, do and experience our mind in solitude.
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Trying to meditate for long periods of time initially, may bring frustration and endless thinking. How many individuals reach an empty stage in their meditation practice? Very few. In fact very few practice daily meditation for extended periods of time.
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Until we learn to be with one breath, slowly inhaling, pausing, exhaling and pausing again, will mindfulness blossom. Repetition is simple once a single breath is mastered.
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The genesis of emptiness happens when we master that elusive single breath! I can not overstate this concept, again, it must be experienced, not read or studied.
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The self (Ego) presents many opportunities for us to judge, think or even sabotage our experience.
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Master a set of three breaths then pause. Practice, practice, then expand to five breath sets. Build a solid foundation slowly, deliberately.
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We often try to move way to fast. The Ego (self) wants to dominate, compete and that brings thought, judgment and frustration.
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We want to be seasoned meditators before we are ready.
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Let all goals,thoughts and judgments go.
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Master one single breath.
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Practice, practice, practice.
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3 responses to this post.

  1. I appreciate how you break things down, In an expression and expansion
    of the reality we happen to live in. xo

  2. I agree with Val. Thank you.

  3. Thank you.

    This post is special to me. I try to simplify and eliminate all the abstract, all but the bare essentials.

    This post I will print and use before I sit. We all need reminders, a way of preparing, focusing before we meditate. The Buddhist teach form. A tea ceremony grows in significance and a way to practice focus outside of the cushion.

    We all get caught up in thought, comparisons, 60,000 thoughts a day.

    Three breath sets can be like the golfers waddle, pre shot routine, or a baseball hitter performing a litany of adjusting this, whirling the bat to alert the mind to focus, get ready.

    Athletes, musicians artists stop thinking with different routines before a performance,

    This can be our pre meditating routine, to alert the mind we are preparing to focus, to slow down, to let go.

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