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 Building a Daily Practice with Self-Pacing
 Breathing meditation
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AmyElda

USA
12 Posts

Posted - Jun 27 2021 :  03:14:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Hi all,

I need advice. Iím very sensitive to practices and have needed to self-pace quite a few times in the past 2.5 years that Iíve been doing DM. I stabilized for a while at 10 min twice a day and was there for nearly a year. I am now currently experiencing a bad episode of overload - tears, depression, anhedonia, irrational fears. I think this was triggered by just changing jobs. No regrets at all, but I guess even good change is stress inducing. Iíve always been reluctant to try breathing meditation because I have a significant history of OCD. I canít NOT repeat words in my mind in coordination with the inhale and exhale. Im unable to ONLY focus on the breath, my brain doesnít allow it. I have to say words in my head. Tonight I gave it a go saying (in my mind) Ďsoí on the inhale and Ďhumí on the exhale because Iíve read thatís a Buddhist breathing meditation I think? Anyway, isnít repeating something in your head combining mantra meditation with breathing meditation. This is partly why Iíve always been reluctant to try it. I wish I asked this question sooner. Thanks for any help!

Christi

United Kingdom
3957 Posts

Posted - Jun 27 2021 :  08:48:22 AM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Amy,

Yes, you are right that So Hum is a Buddhist meditation practice. And that you would be combining a mantra practice with breathing meditation. Obviously the purpose of someone switching to breathing meditation if they are experiencing energetic overload with a mantra, is to have a practice where they are not using a mantra.

If you are not able to focus on your breath without repeating words, then my suggestion would be to use the passive awareness technique instead. This is described here:

Addition 367.4 - Passive Awareness Technique for Very Sensitive Meditators


"If breath meditation does not work for you, don't force it. If the first few sessions lead to excessive discomfort in daily activity, then stop. Then you could try a simple passive awareness watching sensations technique for 5-10 minutes twice each day, like Buddhist Vipassana practice. This is one of the simplest and mildest forms of meditation, and least likely to cause discomfort." [Yogani]


It is a practice that I have used myself a lot over the years and is a more gentle practice than mantra meditation and breathing meditation.


Christi
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AmyElda

USA
12 Posts

Posted - Jun 28 2021 :  02:48:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Christi.
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AmyElda

USA
12 Posts

Posted - Jun 28 2021 :  02:50:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
So, the essence of the passive awareness technique is to just sit with your eyes closed with no mantra, no focus on breath and just watch what your mind does?
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Christi

United Kingdom
3957 Posts

Posted - Jun 28 2021 :  07:35:55 AM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi AmyElda,

Yes, that's right. It is the practice of observing what arises and passes away in the mind, without interfering with what is happening.


Christi
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