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Looking for some advice with my samatha technique (+my short story)

Hey people

I could need som advice with my samatha technique and here comes a brief story due to why.

6 years back I practiced samatha allot with on and of good progress. I ended up in the first jhana but not long after I started to strain myself out and couldn't reach it anymore. It became a bad habit and I became resistant to progress with samatha.

My breath became more or less my worst enemy.

I started to strain and wanted to much everytime I practiced, and of cushion i resisted it everytime my awareness started to follow it due I didn't want to feel my brain straining because of it (you can see how this started to go down a very bad spiral)

I tried on and of to get back to the practice with new insights but everytime the straining came back.

4-5 years later I came upon choiceless awareness and i finally found a practice that worked for me. Everything went well with some progress until My mind took some turns with me.I learned it the hard way that Some concentration is a must, atleast when practicing choiceless awareness.

The last bit with choiceless wasn't maybe necessary to put in due of the question i'm gonna ask.

I'm looking for some ABC technique when it comes to samatha practice.I've tried most of it when it comes to metta, nostrils, stomach breathing, but the straining sooner or later kicks in and I'm down into the downward spiral again.I know the causes of why one strains and just trying to get back to the breathing, but it seems I can't deal with it as I could before
Looking for some advice of someone who maybe went down the same spiral or knows any good teacher who can offer some good advice.


Welcome Stefan,

You might want to read this thread posted around the same time and see what resonates with you as it is a similar issue:

Put simply, depending on how ready you are to face the truth, the answer varies from round-about stuff like Qi Gong/yoga/exercise OR

Simply going back to Anapanasati and eliminate the aversion from the breath - absolutely the fastest/best/most direct way of leaving no traces.

RE: Looking for some advice with my samatha technique (+my short story)
3/14/18 10:06 PM as a reply to Stefan.
If you are ready, this is the instruction set with specific teachings from 4 Elements, Clinging Aggregates/Dependent Origination for your perusal:

Copied and edited from

Do not Pay attention to the individual characteristics (sabhàvalakkhaõa), general characteristics (samma¤¤a-lakkhaõa) or the colour of the nimitta1 (the sign of concentration)The individual characteristics are the natural characteristics of the four elements in the breath: hardness, roughness, flowing, heat, supporting, pushing, etc. The general characteristics are the impermanent (anicca), suffering (dukkha), or non-self (anatta) characteristics of the breath. This means do not note ‘in, out, impermanent’, or ‘in, out, suffering’, or ‘in, out, non-self’.  

"hardness/softness, roughness/smoothness, flowing/constricted, heat/cold, supporting, pushing, fine/coarse, etc"

1. Observe (Contact) Breath In/Out plus individual felt characteristics of the breath, they can be any of the above.
2. Watch which characteristics raises your aversion. Repeat as necessary for complete comprehension.
3. Watch how aversion (in Contact -> FEELING/PERCEPTION) arises due to (Delusional) PERCEPTION <- Dissolve that delusion and see the characteristics for what they are and rest in that.

This is the way out by killing the seed of ignorance. If you need a roundabout, first find out which characteristics create aversion. Then do Elements Meditation without breath, observing other bodily interactions with that characteristic/s to erase that delusion.

At some point you have to master watching Contact-Feeling-Crave (Desire/Aversion) - Clinging (Intention/Action/Habitual) - Causes for further conditioning- Repeat or Other Cycle coming into attention

All the best! emoticon

RE: Looking for some advice with my samatha technique (+my short story)
3/16/18 4:04 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Thank you! I will look over it emoticon