Finding the Three Characteristics in the Breath

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Alesh Vyhnal, modified 8 Years ago.

Finding the Three Characteristics in the Breath

Posts: 127 Join Date: 2/14/13 Recent Posts
I am beginer in terms of meditation. Recently I started to meditate this way:

1. Counting breaths one to ten for some time.
2. Next, concentration on the feeling in the nostrils caused by the flow of the breath.
3. Next, concentration on the feeling in the nostrils caused by the flow of the breath and constant asking "who is having this sensation in the nostrils?"

Can I expect some kind of insight or does this lead to jhanic states only?

(Sorry for my imperfect English.)
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Fitter Stoke, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Can this kind of meditation lead somewhere?

Posts: 487 Join Date: 1/23/12 Recent Posts
Alesh Vyhnal:
I am beginer in terms of meditation. Recently I started to meditate this way:

1. Counting breaths one to ten for some time.
2. Next, concentration on the feeling in the nostrils caused by the flow of the breath.
3. Next, concentration on the feeling in the nostrils caused by the flow of the breath and constant asking "who is having this sensation in the nostrils?"

Can I expect some kind of insight or does this lead to jhanic states only?

(Sorry for my imperfect English.)


You can definitely make insight progress doing that kind of meditation.

A variant on this I would do when I wanted to quickly bring tranquility and insight into balance would be to note the vedana (pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral) of my sense of smell about once a second while breathing gently through the nostrils. That's more of a focus on anicca (inconstancy) than what you're doing, which is a focus on anatta (not-self). But typically if you focus on one of the three characteristics, the other two aren't far behind.

Something you may also want to consider working on (in lieu of step #1) is manipulating the breath a little bit so that it's comfortable. Be aware of whether the in-breaths and out-breaths are short, medium, or long. Find out which are the most comfortable for you. And then once you're comfortable, see if you can eliminate the sense of pushing or pulling the breath. This is useful, because it helps the body calm down, which will give rise to a calmer mind, one which is better able to perceive the nature of reality.

Certainly others will chime in with their suggestions, but I think this is a fine way to establish relationship with the breath.
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Alesh Vyhnal, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Can this kind of meditation lead somewhere?

Posts: 127 Join Date: 2/14/13 Recent Posts
Thank you for your kind answer.

AleŇ°
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Can this kind of meditation lead somewhere?

Posts: 378 Join Date: 3/21/12 Recent Posts
Hi Alesh, wouldn't you mind changing the title of the thread (if Fitter Stoke or Administrators don't mind) into something like "Finding the Three Characteristics in the Breath" or something alike? In the future, a new title like that would be more useful for other forum members to search this valuable piece of information. Thanks! emoticon
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Alesh Vyhnal, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Can this kind of meditation lead somewhere?

Posts: 127 Join Date: 2/14/13 Recent Posts
It is really funny. It's like one self is making the concentration on the breath and some other self is sensing the breath, third self is asking the question...it's a mess emoticon
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Darrin Rice, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Can this kind of meditation lead somewhere?

Posts: 30 Join Date: 8/26/12 Recent Posts
Alesh Vyhnal:
It is really funny. It's like one self is making the concentration on the breath and some other self is sensing the breath, third self is asking the question...it's a mess emoticon


I would say you are on the right track with that. The concept of Anatta is that there is no permanent self that can be found anywhere. The mess is just what you are looking for. Or maybe I should say, you cannot find the self in the midst of the mess. Keep noticing the absence of self and you will make progress in insight. Self is a slippery thing. We cling to it but it cannot be found.

Look for all three characteristics in everything.
1. Impermanence - Anicca
2. Unsatisfactoriness/Suffering - Dukhha
3. No-self - Anatta.

When you see into these three, your on your way to awakening.
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Alesh Vyhnal, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Can this kind of meditation lead somewhere?

Posts: 127 Join Date: 2/14/13 Recent Posts
Thank you for your encouraging comment. It is really perplexing. I can ask myself who has the feeling in the nostrils. I can also ask who is asking this question. Etc.emoticon
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Alesh Vyhnal, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Can this kind of meditation lead somewhere?

Posts: 127 Join Date: 2/14/13 Recent Posts
But I will probably go back to Mahasi naming flavouring it sometimes with this kind of meditation.

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