Simply Watching The Breath
Sitting quietly, not following thoughts, focusing on the inhalation, pausing, exhaling, aware of the breath is resting in the clarity of stillness. This is basic meditation, and helps us to concentrate. Being able to concentrate means that we don’t get distracted. This, of course, influences everything we then do, and can change our life. That’s how important it is.
A quiet space is preferable, but we can do this anywhere, at any time. All the senses are open, but inactive. We are coming to our senses! Being is awakening.
Although we may be keen to do advanced practices, we can miss the whole point. Stability and calmness of the mind/brain is vitally important; it is the foundation for the golden roof. It is but a quantum hop from being aware of the breath to being aware of pure awareness.
Quantum: a discrete quantity of energy proportional in magnitude to the frequency of the radiation it represents.
In returning to this simple practice every day, we can see if it is different or not.
In watching-the-breath meditation (shamata), we sustain effort, and try to maintain concentration so that no thoughts are let in: this breaks our habitual patterning. We can review ‘problems’ later, with a calm mind.
In pure awareness meditation (rigpa), it is short moments many times. We deliberately break the meditation. This is so that we let go of ‘doing’ meditation: there is no longer ‘me’ doing ‘something’. That is pure consciousness. We are pure consciousness.
All sorts of inspirations can occur in meditation, but if we are not careful, we can become hooked by them – and this is a huge trap. It is for this reason that returning to shamata is so important. We can review the inspiration … later!