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Buddhadharma : Winter 2007
winter 2007| 58 |buddhadharma Begin by sitting with your legs crossed, or in any other sitting posture that is comfortable to you, and focus your mind on your abdomen. you will feel it rising and falling. if you don’t feel this clearly, place your hand on your abdomen and the rising and falling will become obvious after a while. when you breathe in, you will experience the ris- ing movement of the abdomen. Note this as “ris- ing.” when you breathe out, you will experience the falling movement. Note this as “falling.” do this mentally, not audibly. do not make the breath more vigorous than usual in order to make the ris- ing and falling more distinct. Neither slow it down nor speed it up. if you change the natural pattern of your breathing, you may get tired quickly and not be able to note properly. Just breathe in and out normally and regularly, and observe concurrently. as you do this, you may reflect that observ- ing the form or concept of the abdomen is not what you should do. But do not worry. initially, of course, it is almost impossible to avoid a concep- tual sense of solid form. so, in the beginning, you must observe objects on a conceptual level. That is the only way that your concentration, awareness, and insight will mature. in due time, however, your insight knowledge will break through to the ultimate reality beyond the concepts. Distracting Thoughts and Physical Discomfort as you continually note the rising and falling of the abdomen, various kinds of thoughts will arise. when this happens, note them using everyday language. For example, when you find yourself thinking, note it as “thinking, thinking.” if you are daydreaming, note it as “daydreaming, day- dreaming.” if you are imagining something, note it as “imagining, imagining.” if you are considering something, note it as “considering, considering.” while noting the rising and falling of the abdo- men, you may feel like you want to swallow or spit out the saliva in your mouth. Note this as “wanting to swallow” or “wanting to spit.” if you actually swallow or spit, note it as “swallowing, swallowing” or “spitting, spitting,” and immedi- adrianfiSh