Breathing through the Whole Body: The Buddha’s Instructions on Integrating Mind, Body, and Breath
The Buddha’s Instructions on Integrating Mind, Body, and Breath
by Will Johnson
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Explores the Buddha’s own words on breathing meditation for healing, wholeness, and a deeper understanding of his teachings
• Explains the complete series of steps in the Buddha’s Satipatthana Sutta for refining awareness of the breath, from posture and center of gravity to extending breath awareness beyond the nostrils, lungs, and abdomen to the entire body
• Shows that stillness in meditation refers only to the mind, not to the body
• Reveals breath to be a direct agent of healing for chronic tensions and an agitated mind
Explaining how stillness in meditation refers not to a rigid and frozen body but to a quality of mind, Will Johnson examines the Buddha’s own words at the core of the Satipatthana Sutta: “As you breathe in, breathe in through the whole body; as you breathe out, breathe out through the whole body”--an instruction often overlooked in the majority of Buddhist schools. Exploring the Buddha’s complete series of steps for deepening awareness of the breath, he shows how to invite natural, responsive movement back into the posture of meditation by extending breath awareness beyond the nostrils, lungs, and abdomen to the entire body--a practice that unifies the breath, body, and mind into a single shared phenomenon.
Showing how the flow of breath is directly affected by chronic tensions in the body and in the mind, Johnson explains that when breath starts flowing through more and more of the body, it becomes a direct agent of healing, massaging and melting any areas of tension it touches and moves through, whether physical or emotional. By breathing through the whole body in accordance with the Buddha’s instructions on breath, the body becomes much more comfortable, the mind starts resolving its addiction to thinking, and meditative practice deepens much more rapidly, allowing the teachings of the Buddha to be directly glimpsed and revealed.
- Inner Traditions/Bear & Company, January 2012
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