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I practice insight meditation (Theravada tradition), noting the rising and falling of the abdomen. It was suggested that one should make a mental note once per second, neither too frequently, nor too slowly. However, there are moments between the instances of rising and falling, when the abdomen does nothing. What should the practitioner note in these moments?"Not moving"? "Resting"? I note "touching", as I become aware of the sensation of my T-shirt touching the skin on the abdomen. Is this right practice?

  • Hello Laszlo and welcome to Buddhism.SE! We've put together some information to help you get started here. – Robin111 Jun 16 '15 at 12:46
  • Rising sitting falling – Sankha Kulathantille Jun 16 '15 at 13:04
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If you find yourself noticing the gap between the breath, then you are no longer focussed on the breath, which is fine, but you should then note "knowing, knowing" or "noticing, noticing". Some also suggest to insert "sitting" in between to avoid having to do this, as in "rising, sitting, falling, sitting". My teacher doesn't, but it's certainly a reasonable suggestion.

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You should not have gaps in noting, but observe all the movements from the start to the end, without missing any step. So you should note "raising raising raising", "falling falling falling" etc and in the same time noting the movements and the sensations. You should not feel accomplished for mere noting the raising just one time, otherwise all would become at best a concentration practice and at worst a boring homework with a mind asking "now what?" after each note.

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Isn't the whole point of such an exercise to remind us that we should be mindful, at all times?

Though I am a Vajrayana practitioner, I sat for years at the Cambridge insight meditation Center. Some teachers say that concentrating with such focus is no longer meditation.

  • Hello Rangdrol and welcome to Buddhism.SE. We've put together some information to help you get started here. – Robin111 Jun 16 '15 at 20:03

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