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Mark Foote

Action That Arises in the Breath

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Something from my latest post, Action That Arises in the Breath, that I hope might interest people here:


In my last post, I wrote about action that arises in the breath and in the body, rather than through judgment and the exercise of will. I mentioned that such action can be peculiarly timely, although the timeliness may only emerge after the fact.

Such action happens when the foreground of bodily activity and the background of autonomic respiration change places. What occurs is not simply the cessation of willful activity in the body affecting the movement of breath, but the commencement of action of the body as part of autonomic movement of breath, including action of posture and carriage. It's a state of trance.

... Gautama's enlightenment resulted from his experience of the cessation of volitive activity in perception and sensation. His enlightenment consisted of the four truths about suffering. Nevertheless, in several places in the Pali lectures, he describes the cessation of volitive activity only as far as the cessation of activity in inhalation and exhalation, and then adds the observation of the "survey sign" of the concentration--as though that much was sufficient in daily living (AN III 25-28, Pali Text Society Vol. III pg 18-19). ...




Edited by Mark Foote

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