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I have been doing mantra meditation for years and saying "Aum" for a few minutes makes me go deeper in meditation within like 10 minutes.

But focus on the breath is difficult compared to the mantras.

What is the difference between the results of breath vs vipassana?

I can hardly do 10 conscious breaths (feeling peace). Any suggestions for betterment?

On the other hand doing vipassana makes me feel very strange (like perceiving vibrations) in my entire body.

In mantra meditation, it feels like something (kind of waves) is coming out of my body.

Am I on the right path or is it hallucination?

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When reciting a mantra you have vitakka and vicāra which helps you get close to the 1st Jhana. But this is also accumulation of Fabrications (more particularly Verbal Fabrications) which should be avoided.

Vitakka and vicāra without the constant awareness of arising and passing inhibits the ability to see impermanence. That is why when you are doing Vipassana you become aware of vibration but not when doing mantra meditation.

To aid you breath meditation you can use vitakka and vicāra to your advantage. Be aware that your are aware of breathing then periodically assess whether you are actually with the breath, but at the reducing frequency. Start with even in breath and out breath and when you notice you can stay a while then do it after each breath and then after few breaths and you your mind just sticks to the task then drop it altogether.

Vitakka and vicara in initial application and sustained application. 1st your bring your mind to the breath then this is the initial application followed by trying to keep the breath in mind.

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    Thanks Sir, can you please explain last line in plain english, it goes over my head. – Rishi Jan 9 '17 at 12:05
  • I updated it. See if you can understand it. It is simple do not get carried away by the Pali words. Another thing I noticed you have accepted some of my answers without upvoting. Wondering how I can improve on the answers. Is it that something you were looking for was missing? – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Jan 9 '17 at 15:55
  • Sir, i have asked these questions without signing up, and when i try to up-vote it, it says to signup or login, when i signup it says this email is already registered, when i login with that account , i see this account as if it is not mine, i am sorry i always wanted to up-vote, can you help ? – Rishi Jan 10 '17 at 4:49
  • I was thinking it was something wrong with what I have wrote. Any way why don't you contact SE with this issue: buddhism.stackexchange.com/contact – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Jan 10 '17 at 4:57
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I do not recommend to do mantra like what you are saying "Aun". I prefer meditation to mantra since mantra was not recorded in Pali Canon or Tripitaka. In Buddha discourses mantra is not found as far as I read.

Less effort, more natural

Anapana (watching breathing in and out) is more natural to man. You do not need to put any extra unnecessary effort to acquiring concentration. To say "Aun", you need have the following unfavorable conditions.

  1. volition/will to say
  2. making movement of sound producing organs
  3. opening your mouth to produce voice
  4. if saying "Aun" is too long, there could be distraction during producing sound "Aun", if the duration is short and fast (to eliminate distractions during long "Aun"), you can get tired easily.
  5. The sound is danger to Jhana, so you cannot achieve the common fruitful expectation of getting more concentrated mind or sharp mind.
  6. You said your body emitted wave when you did mantra but what it is good about it or you just like the sensation of wave coming out from your body. And definitely, you are detouring from your mantra by getting attention on waves from your body (lost primary focus).
  7. Lack of specific goal in doing mantra. I have read very little about mantra but as far as I found in literature, it is obscure and no specific goal or achievement by doing mantra.

On the other hand Anapana seems legit (we have Buddha discourses about Anapana). Even if you cannot do leverage on Anapana meditation to Vipasana, you can achieve concentration up to some Jhanas. There is some personal experiences (on both web and printed form) that people get more healthy by doing Anapana (need citations here). The more favorable facts are

  1. It is more natural
  2. Less effort, the breath in-breath out goes even if you do not have any attention or care to do so
  3. It does not make any tiresome extra physical activities (Kaya Sinkhara)
  4. It does not produce any sound, distracting to others and as well as you
  5. If you are trying to build concentration, it is more proper way and easy to do.
  6. You can put concentrated mind to where you like to be at and this could eventually lead to acquire 4 Rupa Jhanas (under favorable environment, Sila and good guidance)

Anapana For about Anapana and getting focused during Anapana meditation please find my answer in this question here.

This may be a little biased answer to Anapana than your mantra but I can guarantee that if you do properly Anapana you can acquire peaceful mindfulness, and keen concentration by practicing Anapana. That's for sure.

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In mantra meditation, it feels like something (kind of waves) coming out of body.

It agrees with my own experience. I just attended a practice led by a monk since 18 now in his 50s. He instructed us to observe the vibration starting from the abdomen spiraling up to the head, chanting "Om Ah Hum". We were a group of few and did it the same time, the mantra amplified in resonance we were all uplifted.

I have no idea about vipassana since personally I don't practice it but I do visualization. Neither am I interested in breathing practice however I read something related which I answered in this post. For breathing practice, the aim is not just about concentration/ awareness, it's also an energy gathering practice - in short; related to the Sacred-Vase-of-Wind 寶瓶氣 and Primordial-Fire 拙火. (The English translations are my inventions not sure if these have proper terms in English).

  • Hi Bhumishu, on the basis of my experience, i would recommend you to do vipassana, the vibration i am talking about is very strong (but it had happened only once in last 7-10 days), though we are not supposed to get away with it, How ever it felt good. – Rishi Jan 10 '17 at 8:28
  • @Ritesh Thank you, if I have chance I would. Interesting enough here I don't come across instruction about vipassana, although there are retreats held by the Vipassana - Goenka meditation group I never attended. – Mishu 米殊 Jan 10 '17 at 11:28
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Why is focusing on the breath more difficult than focusing on Mantras?

Mantras are more interesting than the breath.

The breath is much more stiller.Mantras have obvious movement.(Speech or mental verbalisation).The mind easily latches on to mantras.Which is why you can find yourself in a trance like state (tranquilising state) much more faster.

How important is it (Focusing on the breath) before vippassana?

Very important.If i can't focus on the breath which is gross and physical (at the start) i won't be able to focus on the subtle movements of the mind. Focusing on the breath trains you to develop concentration.You need concentration to practice vippassanna.To what extent you'd like to develop concentration is up to you but generally you need some form of concentration for vipassanna.

What is the difference between the results of breath vs vipassana?

Focusing on the breath develops concentration.Focusing on Vipassanna objects develop insight.You can still use the breath to practice both concentration and vipassanna.Your just focusing on two different aspects of the breath.

I can hardly do 10 conscious breaths (feeling peace). Any suggestions for betterment?

Do 5 conscious breaths.If you can't.Do 3 conscious breaths.Master that.

When you can do 3.Then slowly add 1 conscious breath and then another. Until you reach 8 conscious breaths.don't do 10 conscious breaths that's too long.It's not about the numbers it's about the quality of your attention on each breath.Please feel free to find a number that suits you.

In mantra meditation, it feels like something (kind of waves) is coming out of my body.

This could be piti (rapture).Piti is what makes the mind stay with the meditation object without feeling forced.Because it's pleasurable..Otherwise you'll have to rely on good old effort (Vitakka).which is why it's easier to do mantra meditation.Piti is generated faster.With breath meditation there is also piti but that "waves coming out of the body" feeling.That is way too agitating if your using the breath.There is a lot more happiness in the stillness of the breath.

  • you said "You can still use the breath to practice both concentration and vipassanna" ? How ? – Rishi Jan 13 '17 at 4:37
  • @Ritesh Hi,sorry for the late reply.Concentration is when you focus on a concept.For example just "knowing the breath".Ask yourself am i breathing in am i breathing out.That point or region where you know you are breathing in or out.Focus there. Vipassana is when you focus on reality -So the actual physical sensations of the breath,its warmth,coolness.You have to practice a bit to differentiate the two sides. – Akasha Jan 17 '17 at 23:59

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