By David Roylance
Breathing Mindfulness Meditation helps you to eliminate craving by training the mind to “cut off thoughts”, thus, removing the poison of “Greed” or “Craving” while developing the skill of mindfulness.
The goal of breathing mindfulness meditation is to develop “right mindfulness” and to eliminate the unwholesome root of craving by training the mind not to cling or attach to emotions, situations, fears, relationships, the past nor the future expectations you have of yourself. Gotama Buddha explained this as “cutting off thoughts”.
All discontentedness is from attachment, clinging, and cravings so it is important to train the mind to not have clinging.
Developing a mind that has been trained not to cling is highly useful in everyday life so that you can more easily let go of your current clinging and not pick up new clinging which will eliminate your discontentedness of the mind.
The benefit of breathing mindfulness meditation is that we develop a calm, steady, peaceful, more concentrated mind through the elimination of clinging. You can develop an unshakable mind. The elimination of clinging and attachments is what creates the concentration and contentedness not actually the meditation by itself.
This meditation trains the mind not to cling, then, you will need to practice non-clinging and the other teachings to develop the mind into a pure mind with nibbana.
Breathing mindfulness meditation becomes a way to empty out the mind of past thoughts and future expectations along with any emotions, thoughts, ideas, perceptions, fears, etc. while training the mind to not cling to anything because we know clinging and attachment leads to discontentedness. You are training the mind in meditation to not attach so it will be content which produces a calm, stable, and concentrated mind.
Mindfulness breathing meditation is the foundation of a practice in these teachings.
One Who Perceives Non-Self Eradicates the Conceit ‘I Am’
When, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu has good friends, good companions, good comrades, it can be expected of him that he will be virtuous, one who dwells restrained by the Patimokkha possessed of good conduct and resort, seeing danger in minute faults. Having undertaken the training rules, will train in them.
When a bhikkhu has good friends, good companions, good comrades, it can be expected of him that he will get to hear at will, without trouble or difficult, talk concerned with the austere life that is conducive to opening up the heart, that is, talk on fewness of desires, on contentment, on solitude, on not getting bound up (with others), on arousing energy, on virtuous behavior, on concentration, on wisdom, on liberation, on the knowledge and vision of liberation.
When a bhikkhu has good friends, good companions, good comrades, it can be expected of him that he will arouse energy for abandoning unwholesome qualities and acquiring wholesome qualities, he is strong, firm in exertion, not casting off the duty of cultivating wholesome qualities.
When a bhikkhu has good friends, good companions, good comrades, it can be expected of him that he will be wise, possessing the wisdom that discerns arising and passing away (udayatthagamini), which is noble and penetrative and leads to the complete destruction of [discontentedness].
Having based himself on these five things, the bhikkhu should develop further (another) four things.
(The perception of) unattractiveness should be developed to abandon lust.
Loving-kindness should be developed to abandon ill will.
Mindfulness of breathing should be developed to cut off thoughts.
The perception of impermanence should be developed to eradicate the conceit ‘I am’.
When one perceives impermanence, the perception of non-self is stabilized. One who perceives non-self eradicates the conceit ‘I am’ (which is) NIbbana in this very life.
Translation by Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi (2012).
[ ] : words within brackets were inserted by the author of this book.
Breathing Mindfulness Meditation – Starting Meditation
Choose a position of either seated, lying, or standing. Get comfortable. Use your breath as an anchor. Through normal breathing in through the nose and out through the nose, the mind can become aware of the breath. Allow the breath, and the sound of the breath entering the body through the nose, to become the anchor that brings the mind into the present moment. The mind should be fixed on the sound of the breath.
In this way, as you focus on the breath and not the thoughts…you “cut off thoughts”. Training the mind to do this in meditation, will help you be able to also “cut off thoughts” in daily life as you need to detach from thoughts, emotions, or situations to obtain a content mind. Train the mind in this way through meditation so that the mind has this same training for everyday life.
Breathing mindfulness meditation allows you to observe the mind, be aware of the mind, and cultivate mindfulness or other mental states. We do not attach to our thoughts or feelings in the mind. We do not analyze what is in the mind during meditation. We just observe and let everything go, by emptying out the mind.
In this way, we train the mind “not to attach” and “not to cling”. By training the mind not to attach during many sessions of meditation, we then have the training to not attach or cling in our daily lives. We practice “non-clinging” always and continuously…everyday and all day. Attachments or clinging is the “cause” or “origin” of all our discontentedness and suffering it causes.
We cause our own discontentedness. We eliminate it, by not clinging.
Breathing mindfulness meditation is the practice that trains our mind not to cling.
Breathing mindfulness meditation is a practice to observe and train the mind but it also, like everything else in your life, has an effect on your kamma.
Through being still, calm, and peaceful for extended periods of time you are producing only healthy and good kamma. This means, for whatever period of time you conduct meditation you are practicing the entire Eight Fold Path, thus, you ceased all unhealthy kamma production. As a result, you are putting health into the world and can expect only goodness from your meritorious conduct.
Immediately, what you receive from your meditation period is typically increased levels of calmness, peacefulness, mindfulness and concentration with a more stable mind. The longer you meditate, the more noticeable the effect. It could take you several attempts and getting comfortable with meditation prior to you having noticeable benefits or results.
Once you have conducted breathing mindfulness meditation, you may decide to move into loving kindness meditation.