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I read this answer, and it made me wonder something deeply; the answer seemed to imply strenuous or volitional attention was inferior to watching the mind for breath meditation, and that merely observing was more effective. I have heard such a statement many times elsewhere, that too much 'expecting' or 'grasping' inhibits concentration.

If this is so, how does a practitioner loosen their grip on the mind? How does one observe the breath with detachment?

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    Put this into one of your other questions. But here it is again: youtube.com/watch?v=4kY4zVThpro From experience I can only say that any 'forceful' or strenuous attention implies wrong concentration, leading to things like dissociation and other stuff. Hope this helps. :) – user13579 Apr 21 at 10:38
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Granted and agreed that too much expectation or grasping (investment in results) inhibits meditation.

Loosening the grip on the mind involves entering into a state of repose with respect to what is observed: Not reacting to what is being observed, not trying to influence of control it in any way, accepting it as it is or becomes and letting go of all ideation, interests, or accidental affects one has had on it.

  • "investment in results", does housholder Troll likes to go more deeper into it without much expecting results at the same time? – Samana Johann Jul 12 at 7:07
  • Connecting the lack of expectation, return to meditation, and expenditure of effort with valuable results is a combination of difficulty, but insight may yield it. – Troll Jul 13 at 9:15
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In contemporary practices, some control was exerted over the breath. In Anapanasatti you are just aware of the breath without trying to control or change the nature of the breath. This is the detachment one must exercise towards the breath.

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