How to Practice Buddhist Breathing Meditation

, , 100 Comments


How to Practice Buddhist Breathing Meditation. In Buddhism, meditation serves to calm and
control the mind and is essential to break the cycle of suffering and attain Enlightenment. Follow these steps for mindfulness of breathing
meditation, one of the two simplest meditations. You will need Understanding and acceptance
of what you are going to do A place where you will not be interrupted Meditation bench
or chair Cushion A blanket A timer, a meditation track on a music player, or a watch or clock
and something pleasant to gaze upon. Step 1. Find a position in which you can sit comfortably
for the meditation. You can kneel using a meditation bench, sit
cross-legged on the floor, or sit upright on a chair. Use a cushion to support your back if necessary,
and wrap yourself in a blanket if you’d like extra warmth. Step 2. Decide how long each of the four phases of
the meditation will be. Five minutes is a good length of time for
beginners. Step 3. Set the timer or select a track on your music
player that corresponds to the length of time you have chosen for the first phase. Step 4. To prepare yourself for the meditation, bring
your awareness into the present. For a few seconds, focus your gaze on something
pleasant, like a plant, statue of the Buddha, or pretty vase, to ground yourself in the
present. Step 5. Close your eyes and scan your body to become
fully aware of it. Begin with your toes and move slowly along
your feet and up your legs, back, and pelvis, through your hands and arms, and finally up
to your neck and head. Step 6. Reflect on what you want to achieve from this
meditation—for example, dealing with a particular source of distress or developing your meditation
skills further. Step 7. Commit yourself to practicing seriously. Step 8. Keeping your eyes gently closed throughout
the practice, bring your awareness to your breathing. Notice everything you can about the breath:
the path of the inhalation down your throat, how your diaphragm moves and your chest rises,
the slight pause before the exhalation, and how the exhalation passes out of your nostrils. To begin, take a slightly deeper breath to
help you to focus on your breathing. Step 9. To start the first phase of the meditation,
count “one” after the first breath, “two” after the second, and so on up to “ten.” Then start again at one. Do this for the planned length of time. If your mind wanders, bring it gently back
to the breath and start counting again from one. Step 10. For the second phase of meditation, count
before each breath. Step 11. For the third phase, do not count, but simply
be aware of each breath as it happens. Step 12. For the fourth and final phase, bring your
awareness more precisely to the point at which you feel the breath enter and leave your body. This might be your nostrils, the top of your
throat, or somewhere else. Step 13. When you have completed the fourth phase,
sit quietly for a few seconds and reflect on your experience of meditation. Step 14. Return gently to your life in the outside
world. Did you know Mindfulness of breathing meditation
dates all the way back to the Buddha himself, who was born in the sixth century B.C.E.

 

100 Responses

  1. douggiedinosaur

    April 25, 2010 10:46 am

    I have a rule that I live by: whenever someone teaches you to breathe, turn around and run the other way.

    Reply
  2. douggiedinosaur

    April 25, 2010 10:46 am

    I have a rule that I live by: whenever someone teaches you to breathe, turn around and run the other way.

    Reply
  3. Ramaraksha

    May 17, 2010 10:12 am

    Abrahamic religions for the weak, cowardly & lazy. Don't worry about what u do in life, just make sure u repent, beg & grovel like crazy! The pleased king will put u up in a 5 star hotel for eternity! No wonder christians can't wait to die. NOT!
    Moksha is EARNED, never begged for nor given. Heaven & Hell are right here on Earth, we make them happen thru our efforts, not God. Hinduism, Buddhism are religions for the Strong, Brave & active

    Reply
  4. number94

    July 3, 2010 12:02 am

    You don't need all the junk she has in the room you do need to sit properly, which she isn't. Awful advice. Go to a class or at least buy a good book on the subject; eg Change Your Mind by Paramananda. Other books are available, see Amazon and read the reviews.

    Reply
  5. Ramaraksha

    July 8, 2010 3:49 pm

    @dalecraw U can't make an omelet without cracking an egg. Stop being so sensitive. Even the Buddha disagreed with some Hindu concepts – would u say the same to him? Stop censoring people – it is ideas that improve the world – u can learn a lot from ideas that u disagree with – makes u think.

    Reply
  6. Ramaraksha

    July 8, 2010 3:50 pm

    Why the concept of Karma & Rebirth is the logical & right choice. Your child misbehaves – do you 1) Simply forgive him or 2) Give him a Beating? How about option 3) TEACH him Right from Wrong! That's Karma & Rebirth – God's Non-Violent way of steering us onto the right path. You can’t simply beg & grovel & get away with it, nor are u physically violated & abused. The Goal of a Hindu is not a seedy flesh-pot heaven but Moksha – Knowledge, with God as our Guru.

    Reply
  7. Lehmann Peters

    September 18, 2010 3:41 am

    Good lord! Who made this silly video? Well, I guess it's better than nothing. Man, is she breathing hard. Step 345……

    Reply
  8. neocoders

    September 20, 2010 12:22 am

    Hey I think this is great. Whose to say this isn't skillful means? If IKEA catalogue style is your language then that's where you're at – start there.

    Reply
  9. Law Chun Hou 刘骏豪

    September 30, 2010 12:08 pm

    Actually, the breathing practise in meditation is a neccessary basic training for you to have a good focusing.

    Reply
  10. k6996

    November 4, 2010 4:46 pm

    this is just relaxing meditation not buddist mediation. When buddist meditate they dont think about anything, and only begainners meditate with eyes close, most buddist meditate with eyes slightly open, just look at the buddha statue. For some ppl they put their touge touching their top part of the inner mouth this helps to easier connect the ren and du mai. The main purpose of meditation is to clear your desires, so if you think about something it defeats the purpose.

    Reply
  11. ruzickaw

    November 30, 2010 4:08 am

    @JonathanEllerbyPhD You are right. But this girl is just a model. Look at her face and the way she is breathing and you can see that she does not have any practice.

    Reply
  12. Quansan52

    November 30, 2010 2:31 pm

    Buddha said the best meditation is the Quan Yin method ( Inner Light and Inner Sound ) but you will need to search for a true master and be veg .

    Reply
  13. donniegerrard

    December 28, 2010 5:10 am

    meditation is for queers and Buddhists are a psychotically deranged cult who think baby tortue and murder is acceptable.

    Reply
  14. Nyima N

    February 1, 2011 5:15 am

    Thanks for the video post. MINDFULNESS, AWARENESS, BREATHING TECHNIQUES meditation great help for mental health! THANKS!

    Reply
  15. arykhoon

    February 9, 2011 3:05 pm

    @donniegerrard yes…maybe…in ones perspective….but you my friend…are an ignorant fuck. peace be in your life.

    Reply
  16. shoshenkis

    February 15, 2011 5:05 am

    wrong posture, wrong breathing, wrong mindfulness, wrong eyes posture (they should be OPEN), wrong spirit…

    Reply
  17. auvenn

    February 21, 2011 4:37 pm

    @JonathanEllerbyPhD Mind telling me what is wrong or how I make it most accurate? I just started meditating at home some weeks ago but it's really already helpful even though I make it different than the video tells me.

    Reply
  18. kylecookie2

    February 22, 2011 3:37 am

    @JonathanEllerbyPhD ive been a buddhist for 2 years and have been practicing buddhist meditation for 6 and yes it is very inaccurate this is just idiotic they should delete it

    Reply
  19. Yui F

    March 2, 2011 1:48 am

    It can't be THAT hard, the people from 1000-3000 years ago meditated, how do you suppose that they figured out the meditation ways?

    Reply
  20. Ron Villejo

    April 5, 2011 7:53 am

    Apologies, but this is a lame video. I agree with the top two comments above. For one thing, her breathing is wrong. It's supposed to be low (abdominal). Instead her chest and shoulders rise. Not good!

    Reply
  21. firuinthehouse

    April 9, 2011 10:27 pm

    @JonathanEllerbyPhD How about you make a clearer video? Talk is kinda cheap you know 🙂

    Reply
  22. Anura Jayatilake

    May 3, 2011 5:02 pm

    There is no point. Whatsoever in practicing breathing, breathing is what all do from birth to death. Breathing stops minutes before death so whatever you practiced with it is of no use when you die in ultimate truth. Be wise. See and look Around do not accept just bcos it's in the book. Books r written in conceptual language they r not real but concepts by laymen.

    Reply
  23. mujaku

    May 23, 2011 10:09 pm

    Buddhist breathing meditation or anapanasati is not about following the breath cycle. It is about being mindfully antecedent to the in and out breath otherwise called parimukhasati. Dark Zen and The Zennist teach this as the Buddha's real meditation.

    Reply
  24. Anura Jayatilake

    May 27, 2011 7:10 am

    @mujaku this is all myth. The Buddha never used his mind to reach enlightenment. one cannot use the mind to cultivate the mind. in other words one cannot eat and grow one and the same seed. like i said breathing stops minutes before the death of any one including the buddha. so no amount of practice of breathing is of no use when someone dies. so how can one stop rebirth with the practice of breathing? ask yourself not other who are equally ignorant. blind leading the blind. do some re-search.

    Reply
  25. mujaku

    May 27, 2011 11:40 am

    @anurajayatilake The realization of pure Mind is the central teaching of Buddhism. It is critical in Nikaya Buddhism, too (the Pali canon). As for "anapanasati" that one is antecedent to the in and out breath the following is from a Pali commentary:

    Anapanasati: by anapane sati is meant “recollection is turned towards [pavatta] the beginning [ârabbha],” the goal [attho] of recollection [sati] being to envelop [pariggâhikâ] in-breathing and out-breathing.

    Reply
  26. mujaku

    May 27, 2011 11:48 am

    Based on the commentarial literature in the Pali canon "Buddhist breathing meditation" (P., anapanasati) is far more subtle than what is presented in this video. For over 15 years I have received a lot of flak from Buddhists who are convinced that one is supposed to follow the breathing. Nowhere in the Pali is that idea mentioned. If you go to the Pali-English Dic. the key term for this meditation, "parimukham satim upatthapetum" is translated: "To surround oneself with watchfulness of mind."

    Reply
  27. Anura Jayatilake

    May 27, 2011 3:20 pm

    @mujaku Do you know that even before Prince Siddhartha was born, there were many who practiced so called "Anapanasathi Meditation" (read the same canon or text you are reading). And according to the same text prince siddartha did this Anapanasathi meditation while still a new born child( at wap / agri-festival). If he new it at so young age, when he is a grown-up why go after many teachers seeking the truth?, if "Anapanasathi leads to the truth/enligtenment.? ask yourself & would you do that?

    Reply
  28. mujaku

    May 27, 2011 3:28 pm

    @anurajayatilake First, the Pali Nikayas NEVER mention the name "Siddhartha"; second there is zero evidence that anapanasati was practiced before Gotama the Buddha.

    Reply
  29. Anura Jayatilake

    May 27, 2011 4:46 pm

    @mujaku One is not born as the Buddha but becomes one after. What is The Buddha's childhood what was his name before being the Buddha When he married and had a child too?. if its nt in the text/canon you are reading, then its obvious omission. Did Buddha ever said he practiced Anapanasathi? what he said was that he practiced the middle path. is it not mentined too? Those texts are not writtn by the Buddha himself. One has to always ask intuitive questions until one sees the dhamma by himslf

    Reply
  30. mujaku

    May 27, 2011 5:17 pm

    @anurajayatilake Siddhartha is a Sanskrit name. It doesn't appear in the Pali canon. As part of ancient Indian tradition, the words of religious persons were memorized, for example, the Vedas. Only in postmortem Buddhism are Sutras written down—still, to this day, monks in Sri Lanka, for example, memorize Suttas. On several occasions, for example in the Udana, the Buddha gives instruction on anapanasati. There is rather an extensive commentary attached to it as well in the Udana-Atthakatha.

    Reply
  31. Anura Jayatilake

    May 28, 2011 8:37 am

    @mujaku Postmortem is a POSTMORTEM. Dhamma cannot be memorized but realized and thereafter be a teacher. that is how it was carried forward then. Anapanasathi is something one sees(physically with different faculty of Wisdom eye not the eye made of flesh) when one goes through the path. anapanasathi is not the path or a method to practice. we have ppl who try to memorize what is in a postmortem report but knows nothing of the true intelligence, knowledge or the wisdom of the deceased & nver be

    Reply
  32. mujaku

    May 28, 2011 12:32 pm

    @anurajayatilake The term "Dharma" has at least a half dozen different meanings. It can refer to the Buddha's teachings in general or the transcendent. A Buddha is known by his Dharma-kaya or transcendent body, not by his mortal body or rupa-kaya. Nirvana is immortality or amata, in Pali. Bottom line Buddha's don't die. Anapanasati is an excellent meditation for winning nirvana IF done correctly. The entire mortal body is transcended by this practice.

    Reply
  33. Anura Jayatilake

    May 28, 2011 12:53 pm

    @mujaku don't you wana know anything outside of these books/texts and so on written by some unknowns. Most ppl are brainwashed to believe. and do not want to exercise free will and intuition. Good. keep on reading and practicing it for million years. Thr r many more millions who practice(d) it for ages, ask if any1 of thm are enlightned. just ask them to say one single thing of the truth outside of any of the books, heard from someone or theorized/imagined from what is already available. cntd

    Reply
  34. Anura Jayatilake

    May 28, 2011 1:12 pm

    @mujaku do you know Why Buddha's don't die(not physical body as it dies). (these are nver in any book). Bcos they are already dead in ultimate. bcos one has to "go beyond that of death while living" to see the path even for the 1st time. I REPEAT "Anapansathi dies or breathing stops minutes before death" so what happens to any practice of it? BE WISE. "ASK QUESTIONS" SEEK WHEN U CAN. IF one is blind, shall not see the value of a GEM from that of a rock. — Thanx anywy. Gd luck. over and out.

    Reply
  35. tysy73

    June 12, 2011 5:52 pm

    good god…101 steps on how to breath? If your mind starts to wander just try to remember all the steps.

    Reply
  36. Bodhi-Krish Na

    June 22, 2011 6:43 pm

    Never you do this breathing mindfulness stuff. It might actually disturbr natural breathing in daily life. Soon you will start without wanting to notice, noticing your breath and being aware of it, which is unnatural. Then the more you try to ignore your breath, the more you remember it.

    Reply
  37. frepi

    July 9, 2011 6:06 pm

    "Step 6 : Reflect on what you want to achieve from this meditation." This statement is clearly not from the buddhist tradition. Buddhist meditation is not about "achieving" but mindfully and equanimously observing what is there, no matter what it is: pain, boredome, fear, anxiety, etc. If you want to achieve something, you may be meditating, but not in the buddhist way.

    Reply
  38. Ariana Jahromi

    August 12, 2011 7:17 pm

    @k6996 Wow! Thanks for the advice! It really does help me now realise and now I hardly think of anything when I meditate! I know, I am a bit young but I need it! I hope we can talk again!!

    Reply
  39. xtensitymusic

    October 25, 2011 5:36 am

    lmao she has completely wrong form in breathing…how horrible.. breathing with your chest rising CREATES stress on the body. This isn't even controversial. It's a fact..

    Reply
  40. Mike M

    November 27, 2011 7:17 pm

    @k6996 There are so many variations to say one is correct and the other is not;it's almost impossible. In fact, Buddha himself acknowledged the existence of variations that lead to same goal – nirvana. Personally, I prefer Vipassana and I learned several different techniques of it in Myanmar. With Vipassana, opening your eyes no matter how slight they are, is huge distraction because you are suppose to observe your body with mind not eyes. Cont..

    Reply
  41. Mike M

    November 27, 2011 7:23 pm

    @k6996 Regardless of whether you are paying attention to what you are seeing. you are still seeing. You can either observe your mind(yes with mind. It's possible. Ever wonder sometimes why you can't stop thinking what you don't want to think?) or observe your body process like breathing (No you don't need to say in you mind like breathing-in, breathing-out. Just observe.) or observe your belly movement from breathing process(Observe it's inflation and deflation).

    Reply
  42. Mike M

    November 27, 2011 7:32 pm

    @k6996 Of course, there are other meditation techniques that you are required to open you eyes. Such as Kathine(it's a pali word. I'm not sure if I'm spelling it correctly in English though). This technique is about focusing your mind on particular object or essence of that object(say color). For example, one technique is to meditate on candle light, another one is on color like white/gold etc. But I've never tried those techniques myself. So I can't comment on their effectiveness.

    Reply
  43. farn1991

    January 17, 2012 4:11 pm

    @chrishasaclue
    It's that simple, but not that easy.
    Our mind always come up with some thought which will make us stand up and run.
    Rather that just sit down and focus.

    Reply
  44. Jason Gafar

    February 26, 2012 3:04 am

    I'm glad the art of meditation is spreading throughout the World, but I absolutely hate how it's being conveyed. This video is a living testimony of how poorly and overlooked meditation is. First off, meditation should NEVER be explained in under four minutes, let alone Buddhist meditation. I personally find that to be completely disrespectful. Also, this video doesn't even show meditation, it only shows CONCENTRATION. To all viewers, please do your homework, and may you reap the benefits!!

    Reply
  45. Russell Hawkins

    June 27, 2012 5:44 pm

    A different process to effect a stilling of the mind. This is Vipassana meditation explained as simply as it can be.

    Reply
  46. marc hards

    July 10, 2012 12:21 am

    Be an island in the ocean, let the waves of the world break upon the cliffs, the minds eye captures more then the senses percieve.

    Reply
  47. William Cheng

    July 27, 2012 4:13 pm

    According to what i learned in Myanmar (Burma). this video is more of practicing concentration, the preparation for Vipassana, For Vipassna method (the only way to total freedom) you have to look at (with mental eye) the current of units of minds or your senses that are happening one by one in order. If you see the nature of mind and body, you have enlightenment. I didn't get that level. Vipassana method has only one way. Methods for practicing concentration are documented 40 different ways.

    Reply
  48. William Cheng

    July 27, 2012 4:19 pm

    This video dose not represent the Buddhism or wisdom of the lord Buddha. Only the relaxation and concentration instruction with a statue of Buddha.

    Reply
  49. ineffable Whune

    December 20, 2012 12:22 pm

    The problem isn't the video… It's the desire not to see oneself as foolish.

    When there are only two or so steps we're like "oh this is easy; ergo I am a competent person;"
    but we only grow when we calmly do what we can't yet do.

    Everything mentioned in the video will enrich one's meditative experience to the degree these things are applied.

    But one needn't struggle to apply it all at once.

    To know is to no longer need to think about it;
    much like driving one's car.

    Reply
  50. ineffable Whune

    December 20, 2012 12:25 pm

    There were fourteen actually;
    and the exercise of retaining information – as well as perspective in regards to it all – serendipitously serves to strengthen the mind; which is point of meditation in the first place.

    Reply
  51. Miriswaththe Wimalagnana

    January 17, 2013 4:50 pm

    Counting is a bit away from the breath so it can distract the concentration. I my experience it is not good prescription to develop this meditation. Erly Buddhist texts instructs to consider longness and shortness of the breath which is an inherent thing of breath. I also wonder it is correct to say meditation on breath is essential to develop oneself upto liberation.

    Reply
  52. Miriswaththe Wimalagnana

    January 30, 2013 5:08 pm

    The statement that breathing meditation is essential for enlightenement is……?????? anyway this video is created on the elements of Buddhist meditation on respiration

    Reply
  53. sasclom2

    May 8, 2013 4:00 pm

    This is the best vid by HowCast. I love it and I love meditation. Plus Im a Buddhist!!

    Reply
  54. thee aldeen

    July 31, 2013 5:52 pm

    Yes, u could actually slip.from reality, become enlightened & fear coming.back.to.mother earth surrounded.by ignor-anuses

    Reply
  55. thriveni saidam

    September 17, 2013 1:43 pm

    Good Chanel with Great Videos, Thank

    I love Buddhism, especially 8 noble path, but I am not a blind believer
    I even used an iPhone app called "BuDhamma" which helped me to practice 8 noble path.

    Buddhism is really where science meets religion

    Reply
  56. Dr Artour Rakhimov

    October 29, 2013 1:43 pm

    Absolutely. They promote hyperventilation that reduces brain and body O2 levels. NormalBreathing provides 100s of studies related to physiology of breathing and deep breathing myth.

    Reply
  57. นิคม พุทธ

    July 6, 2014 12:29 am

    focus on your breath in and out
    do not think do not say anything in mind
    fully aware of your breath. you know it is in when in it is out when out
    do not set time and target…

    Reply

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