Focused and Fearless: The Breath

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When the breath is used to develop mindfulness, emphasis is placed on clear perception of changing sensations through the full duration of an inhale and exhale.

With tremendous precision, the meditator experiences a multitude of fleeting sensations: tingles, vibrations, pressure, heat, for instance.

Pressure may increase or decrease. Pulsing may vary in rhythm. The intensity of heat or cold may fluctuate.

This meticulous sensitivity to physical variations brings the mind to a state of exquisite clarity that allows you to see the impermanent and empty nature of phenomena and witness the relationship between the mind and body.

You can observe how sights and smells can trigger vivid memories, how intentions affect physical movements, and how emotions manifest in the body.

As the momentum of mindfulness increases, concentration correspondingly strengthens.

The concentration that develops through a continuity of mindfulness with changing objects is called “momentary concentration.”

The mind momentarily collects, but then it disperses as the flow of sensory experiences ebbs and alters.

Thinking can arise, but the thoughts do not diminish the concentrated state.

Mindfulness inhibits proliferations of thought because it meets the experience of thinking immediately.

The content of thought relates only to the phenomena at hand.

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