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Is focusing on your breathing to meditate banned in the Orthodox church, in particular the Serbian Orthodox church? I know that it's not allowed to not focus on anything at all, because the devil will enter the mind in such cases. However what if I just focused on my breathing instead, and in case that it's not allowed either, is there an Orthodox alternative to it, which gives the same or better benefits?

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    "I know that it's not allowed to not focus on anything at all, because the devil will enter the mind in such cases." How do you know this? Are you sure this is Orthodox teaching? – curiousdannii Apr 5 at 12:32
  • "I know that it's not allowed to not focus on anything at all." I would be interested in seeing a source on this, as well. In the case of breathing, it's a fundamental part of hesychastic practice, so far from being "not allowed", acceptance/belief in it is almost required on a quasi-dogmatic level due to the Fifth Council of Constantinople. – semblable Apr 7 at 20:33
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Being Eastern Catholic, I’d say you need to be aware that because of the similarities between some eastern spiritual practices and the practices of the orthodox there is sensitivity amongst the Eastern churches of west’s accusations that we engage in pagan meditation techniques.

I think we need to get over our hang ups with the west’s accusations.

Our traditions; including the Jesus prayer is built around the breath.

As long as you remain theologically sound, practice mindfulness as you will.

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    Ding Ferreira, I understand where you are going, but could you be a little bit more clearer and perhaps add a few linked sources would improve your post. You have a good point to make here. – Ken Graham Apr 6 at 3:54
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Saint Vyacheslav Krasheninnikov was against deep breathing methods, needle therapy, massages, etc. Yogis levitate because demons lift them. Similarly, the antichrist flies quickly because demons carry him fast; deceived people say: "Christ is here; Christ is there!".

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