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Home > Buddhist Meditation > Anapana Sati

Western Techniques

Learn to Meditate: Anapana Sati

One of the most universally-applicable methods of cultivating mental concentration is 'anapanasati', attentiveness on the in-going and out-going breath.

This, unlike the Yogic systems, does not call for any interference with the normal breathing, the breath being merely used as a point on which to fix the attention, at the tip of the nostrils.

The attention must not wander, even to follow the breath, but must be kept rigidly on the selected spot.

As the state of mental quiescence ('samatha') is approached, the breath appears to become fainter and fainter, until it is hardly discernible. It is at this stage that certain psychic phenomena appear, which may at first be disconcerting.

A stage is reached when the actual bodily 'dukkha', the sensation of arising and passing away of the physical elements in the body, is felt.

It is the first direct experience of the 'dukkha' (suffering) which is inherent in all phenomena -- the realization within oneself of the first of the Four Noble Truths, 'Dukkha Ariya Sacca'.

When that is passed there follows the sensation of 'piti', rapturous joy associated with the physical body.


Let peaceful thoughts flow into your mind like streams flows into the ocean

Be as bright as the sun and as calm as the moon, your light will reduce the dark clouds of stress.



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