Sunday, February 13, 2011

Buddha's Teachings about Breathing

The Buddha's Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing is a reminder to bring breath, body and mind into harmony, with breathing serving as an anchor as well as a place to begin to go home and reconcile with oneself.

The Body
1.      Breathing in a long breath, I know I am breathing in a long breath. Breathing out a long breath, I know I am breathing out a long breath.
2.      Breathing in, my breath goes deep. Breathing out, my breath goes slow.
3.      Breathing in, I am aware of my whole body. Breathing out, I calm my body.
4.      Breathing in, I know I am alive. Breathing out, I smile.

5.      Breathing in, I feel joyful. Breathing out, I feel joyful.
6.      Breathing in, I feel happy. Breathing out, I feel happy.
7.      Breathing in, I am aware of feelings present in my body and mind at this moment. Breathing out, I touch the feelings that are making me suffer.
8.      Breathing in, I calm those feelings leaving my body and mind peaceful. Breathing out, I am grateful.

The Mind
9.      Breathing in, I am aware of the activity present in my mind at this moment. Breathing out, I concentrate my mind and look deeply.
10.    Breathing in, I untie knots created by unhelpful thinking or imaginings. Breathing out, I embrace and quiet all of my thoughts.
11.    Breathing in, I gladden my mind. Breathing out, I water the seeds of loving kindness and compassion.
12.    Breathing in, I cultivate forgiveness. Breathing out, I liberate my mind.

The Objects of the Mind
13.    Breathing in, I observe all things transforming. Breathing out, I recognize their impermanent nature.
14.    Breathing in, I detect the disappearance of desire. Breathing out, I experience non-craving.
15.    Breathing in, I observe the cessation of erroneous ideas. Breathing out, I see suffering born from ignorance fading away.
16.    Breathing in, I let go of the idea that I did not exist before I was born. Breathing out, I let go of the idea that I will not exist after I die.


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