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August 05, 2007

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henrick,

Not to debate with you here, but to clarify my comment:
Satipatthana is not a collection of various practices, but a gradual training in one practice whereby one goes deeper and deeper. To say that following the breath is a practice or the practice is to miss the point of going deeper; it is like going to visit a temple, walking up to the gate, and worshipping the gate. The point of the breath is to open the gate and go through, not to simply pay attention to the gate.

Sure. That was only the start , and you right that the sutra introduces other practices (like standing, sitting, thinking and so on), but that is beside my point. I just wanted to point out that following you breath is valid practice, and that the Buddha gave these instructions on several occasions.

The commentary to the Udana (188) gives basically two interprestions of causing mindfulness to be 'parimukha'. The first concerns the mindfulness of the tip of the nose or the center of the upper lip. The second is transcendent is which mindfulness embraces (pari) the source/chief/beginning/original cause (mukha). It is synonymous, according to the commentary, with 'niyyanattho' which means "having the characteristic of leading to release or deliverance." As is apparent, breath meditation begins with the establishment of 'parimukha'. And when we resonate with it--all the rest follows from the meditation. Short of this, it is fair to say, that one is spinning their wheels in the mud of ignorance and dogma.

henrick,

What you posted here is only the start! Keep reading that sutta. The point is not to simply follow the breath but clearly the training detailed there merely starts with breath and then quickly goes deeper. Do you not see the progression?

where has the Buddha said that following the breath is right practice?

Ok. I know I am not supposed to answer this, but I can't help it. Plenty places. The Satipatthana sutra springs to mind (Digha Nikaya 22), "Breathing in long, he discerns that he is breathing in long; or breathing out long, he discerns that he is breathing out long. Or breathing in short, he discerns that he is breathing in short; or breathing out short, he discerns that he is breathing out short."

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