Mindful Breathing: Mind and Objects of Mind

September 12, 2010. 113-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh in Singapore during the Peaceful Mind, Open Heart Retreat at the Kong Meng San Pu Jue Zen Monastery. The talk is given in English. The audio link is below and there is also an optional video version.

During the previous four days of the retreat, the community had been exploring the first eight exercises of the Discourse on the Full Awareness of Breathing (also known as the Anapanasati Sutta).  The first eight have the two broad categories of body and feelings, but here we focus on the last eight exercises to mindful breathing – the mind (or mental formation) and the objects of mind. Mind and object of mind are always together. The discourse is explored in more detail in The Path of Emancipation.

9. ‘Breathing in, I am aware of my mind. Breathing out, I am aware of my mind.’ He or she practices like this.
10. ‘Breathing in, I make my mind happy. Breathing out, I make my mind happy.’ He or she practices like this.
11. ‘Breathing in, I concentrate my mind. Breathing out, I concentrate my mind.’ He or she practices like this.
12. ‘Breathing in, I liberate my mind. Breathing out, I liberate my mind.’ He or she practices like this.
13. ‘Breathing in, I observe the impermanent nature of all dharmas. Breathing out, I observe the impermanent nature of all dharmas.’ He or she practices like this.
14. ‘Breathing in, I observe the disappearance of desire. Breathing out, I observe the disappearance of desire.’ He or she practices like this.
15. ‘Breathing in, I observe the no-birth, no-death nature of all phenomena. Breathing out, I observe the no-birth, no-death nature of all phenomena.’ He or she practices like this.
16. ‘Breathing in, I observe letting go. Breathing out, I observe letting go.’ He or she practices like this.
In this talk, Thay discusses #15 in terms of nirvana and reflects that this is the most wonderful exercise. We can contemplate our true nature. No birth. No death. No coming. No going. That is nirvana. The highest point in Buddhist teaching. God is nirvana.
Play
Play

5 Replies to “Mindful Breathing: Mind and Objects of Mind”

  1. Dear Thay, This is so Wonderful… can feel the fresh air touch from up to bottom of my body… can feel the wind touch my face…can feel the warm energies on my hands…guiding and knowing better the true nature in me. May I be in continue this beautiful practice. Thank you.

  2. faithful breath with us
    as long as we live he will accompany us
    breath is so beautiful and to be grateful
    breath so magical he’s always in and out without our control
    This extraordinary breath
    breath never hated people and always welcome presence in the life
    breath work every time without stopping
    extraordinary
    breath can make us so amazing

  3. To listen carefully , I pasted this to my facebook. Thank you for sharing and teaching. _()_

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.