Sun Lun Sayadaw - Fast Breathing Method

Kaio Shimanski, modified 2 Years ago at 3/9/21 2:09 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 3/9/21 2:07 PM

Sun Lun Sayadaw - Fast Breathing Method

Posts: 3 Join Date: 2/12/21 Recent Posts
Hello guys! My name is Kaio Shimanski and I live in Brazil. I've been following the forum for a while and today I decided to open this topic to start my journey here and exchange with all of you (:

Have you heard about the method of Burmese master Sun Lun Sayadaw? This method consists of "accelerating" the breath for 45 minutes and then holding the air, letting go and applying the insight technique to the sensations (which are now more enhanced due to hyperventilation). What is your opinion?

I ask why because I had an experience in 2018 practicing Holotropic Breathing (hyperventilation method by psychiatrist Stanislav Grof) and I believe I had a fruition. During the session that was maintained by a dynamic and constant breathing, I felt that I went through intense stages of suffering and after a long time, an energy went up from the base of my body to my brain and I went to a completely dark and immersive scenario. It was as if everything suddenly turned off, including my sense of self. In a few milliseconds I was turned off. However, I was very scared right after and I came back with all the intensity ... I occasionally  i have experiences of arising and passing away and it was nothing like that.
Anyway, at the time I didn't know the maps and I can't clearly understand one before and after the experience. Perhaps the only thing I really realized was a complete confidence in the dharmic methods.

But, I continue in practice (Mahasi Noting) entering the mental layers to enter the fruition and make the necessary comparison.

And again if possible, I would like your opinion on this type of method ...

Wiki about the Sun Lun method:

Thank you so much guys!
Kaio Shimanski
George S, modified 2 Years ago at 3/9/21 3:13 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 3/9/21 3:12 PM

RE: Sun Lun Sayadaw - Fast Breathing Method

Posts: 2752 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Welcome on board Kaio :-)

I hadn't heard about Sun Lun Sayadaw before but I found this biography ... what a fascinating character and life story, such a sharp turn towards the dhamma and such amazingly fast progress. Shows how anything is possible if you put your mind to it :-)

A bit rough on his wife and kids though, although of course a completely different culture and times have changed. Couldn't resist quoting this gem:

The  Five Things Which  Female  Lay Supporters Understand

1. Their  Wish:- They  wish  to  have  their  own  husbands- all  of  them  without difference.

2. Their  Sphere  of  Activity:- They  try  to  beautify  themselves.

3. Their  Up holding:- They  tend  their families, relatives, parents

4. Their  Constant  Interest:- "May  not  my  husband  take another  wife".
5. Their  Ultimate  Wish:- "Let  my  husband  take  my  words seriously. Let  him  not  take  another  wife".
George S, modified 2 Years ago at 3/9/21 3:33 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 3/9/21 3:23 PM

RE: Sun Lun Sayadaw - Fast Breathing Method

Posts: 2752 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Sorry that was a bit random, probably not the first reply you were looking for ... I got carried away reading about him! I haven't tried the method, hopefully there is someone familiar with it on here. I usually do the opposite - Buteyko (reduced) breathing to increase the CO2 in the blood and increase oxygen uptake at the cellular level. But definitely all sorts of cool stuff can happen when you start to play with the breath. Your experience sounds pretty impressive and I look forward to hearing more about how you get on. emoticon
Kaio Shimanski, modified 2 Years ago at 3/10/21 8:33 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 3/10/21 8:33 AM

RE: Sun Lun Sayadaw - Fast Breathing Method

Posts: 3 Join Date: 2/12/21 Recent Posts
Hi George! Thanks for the answer and the link for Sayadaw's biography!
These cultural issues reallu sound very strange and emphasize this issues of arahants not being as perfect as people say...

It is very curious about this breathworks... in the Holotropic scenario itself, Wim Hof and etc, there are many reports of many curious and diverse accesses but no mapping at all... it seem that the scneario is random or the perception of the practicioners is not open to perceive possible sequences and things like that.

These breathing practices are increasingly on the rise in our generation and to have found someone old in the Burmese tradition working with this was really a surprise. What can happen if there are more possible unions between these schools of practices?

I found topics discussing Sun Lun on the Dharmawheel, but most of them disregard and even criticize methods that are not in the sutras... a limitation in my point of view...

Waiting for new opinions on these matters !
George S, modified 2 Years ago at 3/11/21 3:27 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 3/11/21 3:08 PM

RE: Sun Lun Sayadaw - Fast Breathing Method

Posts: 2752 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Thinking about your question a bit more, you're really digging into anapanasati (mindfulness of breathing) here, which is the main meditation method the Buddha actually taught. The first 4 steps of the Anapanasati Sutta (MN 118) go like this:
"Now how is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing developed & pursued so as to be of great fruit, of great benefit?

"There is the case where a monk, having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore. Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.

"[1] Breathing in long, he discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long.' [2] Or breathing in short, he discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, he discerns, 'I am breathing out short.' [3] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.' [4] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'

So that's what you do - you watch the breath and observe the difference between long breaths and short breaths, seeing how they condition the body and learning to calm the body. A good manual for this stuff is Bhikkhu Buddhadasa's Mindfulness With Breathing:

​​​​​​​The breath-body is very important because it sustains life in the rest of the body. This relationship is crucial to our study. Although we lack the ability to control the general body, or flesh-body, directly, we can master it indirectly by using the breath. If we act in a certain way toward the breath-body, there will also be a specific effect upon the flesh-body. This is why we take the breath as the object of our training. Supervising the breath, to whatever degree, is equivalent to regulating the flesh-body to that same degree. This point will be more clearly understood when we have trained up to that particular stage of anapanasati.

Beginning our practice with the kaya (body), we study the breath in a special way. Every kind of breath is noted and analyzed. Long breaths, short breaths, calm breaths, violent breaths, fast breaths, slow breaths-we learn to know them all. We examine the nature, characteristics, and functions of each kind of breath that arises.

We should observe the influence of the different breaths upon the flesh-body. We need to see clearly the great effect that the breath has on the physical body. We observe both sides of this relationship until it becomes clear that the two, the flesh-body and the breath-body, are interconnected and inseparable. See that the breath-body conditions and affects the flesh-body. This is the first step. We make a special study of the breath and come to know the characteristics of all its different forms. In this way, we gain insight into the conditioning effect it has on the flesh-body. This, in turn, will allow us to master the flesh-body by means of regulating the breath.

The purpose of these beginning steps is to know the secrets of the kaya, the body. We know that the breath-body, our breathing, conditions the flesh-body. This important secret helps us to use the breath to gain mastery over the body. We discover that by making the breath calm we can relax the flesh-body. If our breathing is calm, the flesh-body will be likewise. Thus, we can regulate our body indirectly through our breathing. Furthermore, we learn that through calming the breath-body and the flesh-body we can experience happiness, joy, and other benefits.