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When i am meditating, my breath which was normal(means three seconds longer both in and out), is becoming one second long or only half second long(extremely short in length).

How to manage if breath becomes so short in length, am i going in right manner of meditation ?.

note: could any body say if i am going or doing meditation in intended manner.. or is there anything i could do to improve my situation or psychological state

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The meditation taught in the old scriptures includes being aware of both long & short breathing.

Long breathing is calming & soothing, which is why it feels preferable.

Short breathing can be a sign of stored tension coming to the surface of awareness; therefore short breathing can feel uncomfortable.

However, it is sometimes important to allow tensions to rise up so they can dissolve. This requires patience & forbearance. Once tensions & short breathing resolve, the breathing will naturally become long again.

If short breathing becomes too uncomfortable, you can deliberately take some deliberate long breaths to slow down & calm your body & mind.

The old scriptures state:

There is the case where a monk...sits down...holding his body erect...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.

Anapanasati Sutta

  • stored tension in the sense, any recent psychological experiences causing anxiety which needs to be resolved by me externally or i have to just concentrate on meditation only.. specifically is there anything to do, if its happening continuously..? – user2929 Jul 1 '16 at 8:48
  • If there is anxiety, you should try to resolve it both internally & (if possible) externally. External social relationships are part of our life & represent the moral aspect of the Buddhist path. Social conflict can offer an opportunity to develop skilful & honest communication skills. But if external resolution is difficult. we have little choice but to resolve anxiety internally by using meditation & wise reflection (thinking). – Dhammadhatu Jul 1 '16 at 9:06
  • specifically saying, i am an anxious person, so i am thinking to understand my mind (what is it trying to say at any given situation or at any time).. so i thought gaining mindfulness is only way to that.. presently, i dont know whether while meditating , i am going in right direction or not.. thats why i asked this question – user2929 Jul 1 '16 at 9:13
  • In meditation, habits of mind come to the surface. If anxiety has been common in life, anxiety will arise. If you are practising breathing meditation, anxiety will make the breathing short. About what is "right", in meditation there is not much choice. If anxiety is not strong, you can try to 'breathe away' the anxiety with deliberate calm gentle long fine breathing. But if anxiety is strong, meditation gives you the opportunity to patiently learn about it, be less anxious about it & to eventually resolve it. Meditation is a courageous path. It has helped people face & overcome anxiety. – Dhammadhatu Jul 1 '16 at 9:32
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Let go of control and any expectation of how it should be.

You have a misunderstanding that the breath should be like X and this is subconsciously making you go in circles.

Just watch it being however it is.

Totally be OK with how it is. No where in anapanasati does it say to force it to be in some way.

In any situation, life or death, it is important that you are treating reality with loving kindness/acceptance and wisdom (all of which lead to each other). In this case, it means accepting your breathing for how it is (it will change on its own according to your mental achievement).

**Focus on a calm steady mind by perfecting the Five Faculties. Breathe effortlessly, letting your breath go through its shifts. It will be long on its own. **

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Anapanasati Sutta

There are 16 steps shown in this sutta.

"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.1 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.'[2] He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.' [4] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.'[3] He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'

"[5] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to rapture.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to rapture.' [6] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to pleasure.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to pleasure.' [7] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to mental fabrication.'[4] He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to mental fabrication.' [8] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming mental fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming mental fabrication.'

"[9] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the mind.' [10] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in satisfying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out satisfying the mind.' [11] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in steadying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out steadying the mind.' [12] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in releasing the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out releasing the mind.'[5]

"[13] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on inconstancy.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on inconstancy.' [14] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on dispassion [literally, fading].' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on dispassion.' [15] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on cessation.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on cessation.' [16] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on relinquishment.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on relinquishment.'

"This is how mindfulness of in-&-out breathing is developed & pursued so as to be of great fruit, of great benefit.

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