Mindfulness of Breathing
Ajahn Pasanno
Upāsikā Day, Oct. 26, 2014
Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery in Redwood Valley, California
2 sessions, 20 excerpts, 50:41 total duration

Ajahn Pasanno describes mindfulness of breathing as a method to firmly establish the mind and develop insight.

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Sessions:    1    2
Session 1 – Ajahn Pasanno – Oct. 26, 2014 Download audio (1:14:25)
[Mindfulness of breathing]

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1. [41:45] Comment: I notice a connection between a person who is preparing for transition and going though agonal breathing. It's one breath per minute or two, and it's relaxed. [Death]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Release] [Clinging] [Relinquishment]

Quote: “You have to keep letting go until there is no remainder.” — Ajahn Chah. Quoted by Ajahn Pasanno. [Ajahn Chah] [Liberation]


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2. [43:43] “I've had the experience on retreat of getting to slow, shallow breathing and panicked because I couldn't find the breath. Could you say more about just going to the knowing?” [Meditation/Unusual experiences] [Tranquility] [Fear] [Knowing itself] // [Mindfulness of body] [Investigation of states] [Nimitta] [Faith]


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3. [47:47] “I have a hard time breathing normally due to congestion and athsma. How does one get past the initial fear, 'I just can't breath. How am I going to do this?'” [Health] [Fear] // [Mindfulness of body] [Body scanning] [Tranquility]


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4. [50:46] “At what point in your meditation do you shift to knower or witness?” [Meditation/Techniques] [Knowing itself] // [Investigation of states] [Happiness] [Tranquility] [Calming meditation] [Insight meditation] [Doubt] [Desire]


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5. [56:13] “At times during my meditation, my body acts funny, leaning to one side or the other or spinning. What causes this? Is it a good or bad sign?” [Meditation/Unusual experiences] // [Kamma] [Teachers] [Mindfulness of body] [Rapture]


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6. [1:00:51] “When I practice mindfulness of breathing, thought arises. Do I want to eliminate thinking?” [Right Concentration] [Directed thought and evaluation] [Proliferation] // [Nature of mind] [Self-identity view] [Discernment] [Mindfulness of mind] [Investigation of states] [Relinquishment]


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7. [1:05:07] Comment: My mind will fill with chatter, stuff I'm not interested in. What I've come to do is just say, 'This is a chaotic mind.' [Proliferation] [Mindfulness of mind]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno.


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8. [1:07:04] “How do you keep the self from coming up if this is an interesting thought to follow?” [Self-identity view] [Directed thought and evaluation] // [Conditionality] [Aggregates] [Knowing itself]


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9. [1:09:33] “Sometimes there will be sponaneous verbal recollection of Dhamma. Is this skillful?” [Recollection/Dhamma] // [Relinquishment] [Proliferation]


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10. [1:11:18] “I get stuck with subtle unpleasant moods. Any advice?” [Clinging] [Feeling] // [Mindfulness of body] [Goodwill] [Continuity of mindfulness]


Session 2 – Ajahn Pasanno – Oct. 26, 2014 Download audio (1:14:06)
[Mindfulness of breathing]

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1. [50:21] “Could you translate sati as recognizing?” [Mindfulness] [Translation] [Pāli]


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2. [52:12] Comment: Dispassion, fading away—these things are happening anyway, and we're learning to see them. [Dispassion] [Learning]


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3. [53:06] Comment: I tend to make things harder for myself. I come up with some big projections. [Proliferation]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Ajahn Chah] [Teaching Dhamma] [Simplicity] [Buddha]


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4. [54:45] “[Question unclear] Is modulating a good way to describe working with the breath?”


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5. [55:49] Comment: My mind goes away, and I'm lost in a story. But if I sit and don't move, eventually when I come back I realize the body is really settled and I can tune in to that. [Proliferation] [Tranquility]


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6. [56:38] “Modulating the breath seems more sublte than controlling it. Does this relate to where you put your attention as it grows?” // [Kamma] [Directed thought and evaluation]


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7. [57:35] “How often do you employ mindfulness of breathing in daily life? How much volition are you still using?” [Everyday life] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Continuity of mindfulness] [Volition] // [Mindfulness of body]


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8. [59:12] “How can we balance happiness and ease with the desire to accomplish something using meditation techniques?” [Meditation/General advice] [Happiness] [Desire] [Middle Path] // [Recollection/Dhamma] [Hearing the true Dhamma]


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9. [1:02:53] “Sometimes I've been sitting a long time and am too tired to keep sitting, walk, or stand. Any suggestions?” [Postures] [Devotion to wakefulness] [Sloth and torpor] // [Ajahn Pasanno] [Pain] [Posture/Standing]


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10. [1:05:57] “When you contemplate, 'Who is thinking? Who is breathing?' how does thid differ from thinking? Why doesn't it generate more thought?” [Hua tou] [Directed thought and evaluation] [Proliferation] // [Insight meditation] [Tranquility] [Restlessness and worry]

Quote: “The mind can still think and be peaceful. What a concept!”