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Aqui também, a criatividade na Arte do Pensamento presta homenagem ao Ser, e para além de autores já consagrados, damos espaço aos jovens valores que connosco queiram colaborar em vários temas.

Considering the great percentage of visitors coming from all countries in the world, we consider of importance that some texts should be in English.
Tendo em conta a grande percentagem de visitas originárias de todos os países do mundo, consideramos importante haver artigos na língua inglesa.
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Only One Breath

by Ajahn Sumedho

in 01 Apr 2007

  The attitude is most important. To practise anapanasati, one brings the attention onto one inhalation, being mindful from the beginning to the end. One inhalation, that's it; and then the same goes for the exhalation. That's the perfect attainment of anapanasati. The awareness of just that much, is the result of concentration of the mind through sustained attention on the breath.

This morning I was talking to Venerable Subbato and he was saying he never has developed anapanasati, mindfulness of the breath. So I said, 'Can you be mindful of one inhalation?' And he said, 'Oh yes.' 'And of one exhalation?' And he said, 'Yes.' And I said, 'Got it!'
There's nothing more to it than that. However, one tends to expect to develop some special kind of ability to go into some special state. And because we don't do that, then we think we can't do it.
But the way of the spiritual life is through renunciation, relinquishment, letting go not through attaining or acquiring. Even the jhanas [1] are relinquishments rather than attainments. If we relinquish more and more, letting go more and more, then the jhanic states are natural.
The attitude is most important. To practise anapanasati, one brings the attention onto one inhalation, being mindful from the beginning to the end. One inhalation, that's it; and then the same goes for the exhalation. That's the perfect attainment of anapanasati. The awareness of just that much, is the result of concentration of the mind through sustained attention on the breath. From the beginning to the end of the inhalation, from the beginning to the end of the exhalation. The attitude is always one of letting go, not attaching to any ideas or feelings that arise from that, so that you're always fresh with the next inhalation, the next exhalation, completely as it is. You're not carrying over anything. So it's a way of relinquishment, of letting go, rather than of attaining and achieving.
The dangers in meditation practice is the habit of grasping at things, grasping at states; so the concept that's most useful is the concept of letting go, rather than of attaining and achieving. If you say today that yesterday you had a really super meditation, absolutely fantastic, just what you've always dreamed of, and then today you try to get the same wonderful experience as yesterday, but you get more restless and more agitated than ever before - now why is that? Why can't we get what we want? It's because we're trying to attain something that we remember; rather than really working with the way things are, as they happen to be now. So the correct way is one of mindfulness, of looking at the way it is now, rather than remembering yesterday and trying to get to that state again.
The first year I meditated I didn't have a teacher. I was in this little kuti [2] in Nong Khai for about ten months, and I had all kinds of blazing insights. Being alone for ten months, not having to talk, not having to go anywhere, everything calmed down after several months, and then I thought I was a fully enlightened person, an arahant. I was sure of it. I found out later that I wasn't.

I remember we went through a famine in Nong Khai that year and we didn't get very much to eat. I had malnutrition, so I thought, 'Maybe malnutrition's the answer. If I just starve myself....' I remember being so weak with malnutrition at Nong Khai that my earlobes started cracking open. When I'd fall asleep I'd have to pry my eyelids open; they'd be stuck shut with the stuff that comes out of your eyelids when you're not feeling very well.
Then one day this Canadian monk brought me three cans of tinned milk. In Asia they have tinned sweetened milk and it's very very delicious. And he also brought me some instant coffee, and a flask of hot water. So I made a cup of this: put in a bit of coffee, poured in some of this milk, poured hot water and started drinking it. And I just went crazy. It was so utterly delicious, the first time I had anything sweet in weeks, or anything stimulating. And being malnourished and being in a very dull tired apathetic state, this was like high-octane petrol - whoomph! Immediately I gulped that down - I couldn't stop myself - and I managed to consume all three tins of milk and a good portion of that coffee.
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