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What Happens After Concentration On the Breath is Attained?

I did a video on this meditation question, I’ll post it below. I will also write it out here to make it easily scannable so you don’t have to watch the entire video.

A reader of the site referred a man to me who had a question about:

What To Do After You Can Concentrate On the Breath?

Let go of concentrating on the breath if your focus is very strong, very steady. Wait to see what the mind creates for you to focus on instead. It will create a nimitta or a mind-sign that can be focused on after you have good concentration on the breath.

Brief Overview of Meditation on the Breath (Process)

  1. Meditate on the feeling of the breath at the nostrils.
  2. When your mind is pulled away from the focus on that feeling, re-direct it back to focus on the feeling of the breath at the nostrils.
  3. Do this again and again and again (it will be weeks to months at least before you can do this well). This is MOST people. You may do it in one week! It may take you ten years if you’re not doing something correctly. Feel free to email me and we can go over it to ensure you’re on the right path.
  4. Once you can focus on the feeling of breath in the nostrils or on the upper lip (for most people it is one of these two areas), you should be able to maintain full concentration without wavering for 10-200 or more breaths.
  5. Once you have practiced this concentrated state (for say ten minutes or so) you can try to let go of that focus. Just stop focusing on the feeling. Focus on nothing.
  6. See what arises. See what stimuli the brain creates for you. It is ready to focus, and it seems to create something for you to focus on instead of the feeling of the breath when you consciously stop.
  7. The mind may create a mind image for you. A picture. A video. A light. A twinkle. An overall light change (adding light to the mind’s image). Or it may make something different. For me most times it was a tingling in my hands or feet.
  8. Focus on what the mind gives you. Focus entirely on that picture in your mind, or that feeling in your hands, or whatever the stimuli is. Buddhists call the stimuli a ‘nimitta’.
  9. You may incline into Jhana from there. Or, you may just enter another state that is different. Whatever it is, just focus on the stimuli that was presented. No need to think about anything. No need to do any more than that. At times you may become aware of your breath again – and you can focus on that if you want. Focus on breath some more and let go again. See what arises.

You’re at Jhana’s doorstep at this point and it will likely come. Don’t want it. Don’t crave it. Don’t aim for it. Don’t try hard to ‘get it’. It comes if it comes. If it doesn’t, no matter, you are already in a very good place along your meditative path and no amount of wanting it will get you there. Just do as outlined above.

Feel free to write with anything you want to talk about. 😛

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