Waking up the Breath

"Monks, mindfulness of breathing in and breathing out, if cultivated and made much of, is of great fruit and of great advantage. How is it to be cultivated?

In this way, monks, a monk cultivates the enlightenment factor of mindfulness, accompanied by mindfulness of breathing in and breathing out, which tends towards seclusion, which tends towards freedom from passion, which tends towards cessation and which results in great happiness.

Growing the Inner Bodhi Tree

The 'seed' of the tree of awakening is the inner purity of the mind which is free from the defiling hindrances that we allow to cover it over. To grow the tree we need the seven factors of awakening, the bojjhangas:

The soil for the tree to grow is mindfulness: providing a sustaining and supportive environment for the roots to grow in and draw sustenance from.

The water for the tree is Dhamma-investigation: by flowing into every aspect of the mind it shows the relationship between them and sustains integrated growth.

The Bojjhangas

The bojjhangas, or factors of enlightenment, have the special quality of enabling us to wake up. What it means to wake up and what it is about the bojjhangas which encourage it are questions worth considering.

In Thailand they are traditionally linked with the days of the week:

A Bojjhanga Week

The theme of a recent meditation week at Greenstreete was the seven factors of enlightenment (bojjhangas) which are linked, in the Thai tradition, to the days of the week. Each day, the respective bojjhanga was to be nurtured and applied to the formal practices and to the times in between.

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