1

When your mind is wandering during Anapana, you may use "Hard Breath" (intentional breath).

What is the Pali word for this technique? What is the Pali text explaining this "hard breath" technique?

This is a major technique we are taught in a 10-day Vipassana course taught by S.N.Goenka. There are several rules to use this intentional breath but we are advised to minimize the number of intentional breaths if it's not necessary.

3
  • Can you say some more things about Hard Breath? This is not a technique that I have heard of. Which school of Buddhism teaches this, and what is involved in the practice? Many thanks.
    – Max
    Aug 24 at 21:41
  • Hi, Max! thank you for your comment.
    – Jinn
    Aug 25 at 1:25
  • This is a major technique we are taught in a 10-day Vipassana course taught by S.N.Goenka. There are several rules to use this intentional breath but we are advised to minimize the number of intentional breaths if it's not necessary.
    – Jinn
    Aug 25 at 3:33
4

In the beginning, beset by wandering mind, it may be expedient to struggle with the mind, body and breath.

MN20:7.2: Tena, bhikkhave, bhikkhunā dantebhidantamādhāya jivhāya tāluṁ āhacca cetasā cittaṁ abhiniggaṇhitabbaṁ abhinippīḷetabbaṁ abhisantāpetabbaṁ.
MN20:7.2: With teeth clenched and tongue pressed against the roof of the mouth, they should squeeze, squash, and torture mind with mind.

Yet although such practice may serve in the beginning, such practice disturbs the body.

MN100:17.7: My energy was roused up and unflagging, and my mindfulness was established and lucid, but my body was disturbed, not tranquil, because I’d pushed too hard with that painful striving.

One might even try to go further on this painful and dangerous path.

MN100:18.2: ‘Why don’t I practice the breathless absorption?’
MN100:18.3: So kho ahaṁ, bhāradvāja, mukhato ca nāsato ca assāsapassāse uparundhiṁ.
MN100:18.3: So I cut off my breathing through my mouth and nose.

But it is truly dangerous.

MN100:23.4: ‘He’s not dead, but he’s dying.’

This extreme practice is fruitless.

MN100:27.5: But I have not achieved any superhuman distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones by this severe, grueling work.
MN100:27.6: Could there be another path to awakening?’

Right immersion is not stressful.

MN100:28.2: ‘I recall sitting in the cool shade of the rose-apple tree while my father the Sakyan was off working. Quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unskillful qualities, I entered and remained in the first absorption, which has the rapture and bliss born of seclusion, while placing the mind and keeping it connected.

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  • Hi! Unfortunately, this thread is not for insisting on our personal opinions but merely for requesting Pali-terminologies. I am sure there exists a bunch of threads discussing the merits of techniques in Stack Exchange. And I suggest you look at those threads. I hope you find a lot of merit through stack exchange!
    – Jinn
    Aug 24 at 20:26
  • 1
    @jinn - it looks like this is the nearest they could get to answering your question. And from the research I've done, I came down roughly the same avenue. Nothing there about Hard Breath.
    – Max
    Aug 24 at 22:00
  • Yeah, same conclusion as mine. Thank you for your research, Max!
    – Jinn
    Aug 25 at 1:24
1

There is no such technique found in Pali texts. The Patisambhidamagga has some detailed instructions but nothing like the technique you mentioned.

1
  • Yeah, maybe it is not in a Pali text. Thank you for your research Paul!
    – Jinn
    Aug 25 at 1:33
0

The suttas talk about recognising long and short breaths, but I can't recall any suttas which refer to hard breath or intentional breath. Though I can see this technique might be useful for refocusing attention.

1
  • Thank you willywanka!
    – Jinn
    Aug 25 at 20:34

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