Focusing on the Breath


Vipassana meditation is practiced by focusing on one object throughout the hour (or a length of time of your choosing) and becoming aware of other thoughts that might distract us from this original object. This hones concentration, which is necessary to figure out the true nature of mind and body. Once someone has harnessed that concentration, we may use it as a sharp object to cut through all the disillusions and accept the three principles (the nature of impermanence, the nature of dissatisfaction, and the nature of insubstantiality). Two main methods of meditation are taught: Breathing directed or abdominal movement focused. These are self explanatory.

For my first session, I decided to attempt the breathing route as it seemed physiologically advantageous (watch out Incentive Spirometer). These were my thoughts: Breathing, breathing, breath…I wonder what my oxygen saturation is at the time…what’s the sea level elevation of Cambodia (it affects the partial pressure of oxygen)…man, I really need to try more fish as it’s fresh from the Tonlé Sap lake and much cheaper than the states….crap, I need to focus on breathing…breathing…breathing…breathing…I remember once in physics we were asked to figure out how many molecules of oxygen we were breathing per minute of Galileo’s last breath…I miss physics…wait, what was I supposed to do again?

Efren M., Cambodia Buddhist Immersion Program


One response to “Focusing on the Breath

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