Inviting you on a ‘Three Breath Journey,’ Gil explores mindfulness from the perspectives of wellbeing, somatic inquiry, relaxation, and as a wellspring of dharmic pleasure.
In this Dharma Talk stemming from Auckland Insight Meditation’s Cultivation and Insight Retreat livestream on 2/14/2022, Gil Fronsdal shares his non-meditation, the ‘Three Breath Journey,’ before diving into topics like: when to be mindful, mindfulness as relaxation and wellbeing, mindfulness of the body, and how to tap into the Buddha’s inner wellspring of dharmic pleasure.
This talk from Gil Fronsdal was originally published on DharmaSeed.org
Three Breath Journey // When to Be Mindful
To begin this session on finding a better way of being, Gil Fronsdal opens by welcoming us all onto a journey – a ‘Three Breath Journey’ to be exact. In this short non-meditation exercise, Gil invites us beyond the lofty goals our mind creates around long and difficult meditations—trading that for a short, refreshing, and consistently applicable moment of being fully present for three simple breaths.
“Some people when they start meditating have all these ideas about what meditation is that sometimes interferes with the simplicity of just being with the breath in the moment. Some people find that this ‘Three Breath Journey’ is a way of putting aside meditation—ideas of how it’s supposed to be—and just being very simple and with the breath in-and-of itself—that there can be a shift in three breaths.” – Gil Fronsdal
“If you have a better alternative than being mindful, maybe don’t bother being mindful. But when mindfulness is the better alternative, please be mindful. Sometimes there are times—when if we’re honest with ourselves—what we’re doing with our minds is not necessarily the better option.” – Gil Fronsdal
Mingyur Rinpoche reflects a view of the open awareness of non-meditation, on Ep. 73 of the BHNN Guest Podcast
Mindfulness as Wellbeing & Relaxation (13:31)
If we know there is something better to do—why don’t we do it? Offering contemplation around our frequent choice to stay in rumination and preoccupation rather than choosing a healthy option like the ‘Three Breath Journey,’ Gil helps us move past our habits and sloth so we can begin to live from a better way of being. From here, he highlights the clarity, presence, honesty, freedom, good fortune, relaxation, well-being, and dharma-joy of mindfulness.
“As we practice mindfulness and awareness practice we start appreciating more and more what a great alternative it is to other things we could be doing. As we feel this alternative that we can do, we’re lucky we know something better and we’re lucky that we have a practice to approach that better way of being. It’s a tremendous good fortune.” – Gil Fronsdal
“I don’t move my mind to go back to the breathing; I welcome the breathing back to my mind, my awareness.” – Gil Fronsdal
David Nichtern & Michael Kammers explore the Three R’s of Mindfulness: Resonance, Resilience, & Reactivity
Wellspring of Dharmic Pleasure // Mindfulness of the Body (30:33)
Shedding light on Buddha’s outlined variances between sense pleasures and dharmic pleasures, Gil offers a path to an inner pleasure which is not dependent on the conditions of the outside world. Inviting us into the somatic experience of dropping into our physical body and befriending it, Gil shares how this process makes room for well-being and dharmic joy to flow through us.
“How do we make room to experience well-being so it has a chance to surface? One of the ways is to practice mindfulness of the body. It turns out that being present in your body, and the ability to feel your body and rest in the somatic experience, the physiological experiences of the body, is a way we give the body room for well-being to flow through us. A deeper more dharmic joy and happiness that’s possible is experienced through the medium of our physical body.” – Gil Fronsdal
“The more you’re able to do just one thing at a time, the chances are the more of this deep dharmic pleasure you’ll be able to feel.” – Gil Fronsdal