Why Breath Awareness Is Important

by Peter Carlson on January 15, 2015

This is the second in a series of discussions regarding the Anapanasati Sutta, (mindfulness of breathing), a core teaching for Buddhist meditation practitioners.  During this talk, Peter described several aspects of mindfulness of breathing that supports increasing the frequency and stability of focus, both in the practice of samatha (cultivating concentration) and vipassana (cultivating insight into the conditioned nature of reality).  The terms vitakka (aiming awareness at the onset of the in- and out-breaths) and vicara (thorough awareness of the experience of in-and out-breaths) were described as the initial stages for developing dhamma vicaya bojjhanga, (the investigation of mental phenomena awakening factor). Peter pointed out that cultivating sambojjhanga, (the seven awakening factors) is a major orientation in both the Anapanasati Sutta and the Satipatthana Sutta, (The Four Foundations of Mindfulness).

The teaching points of the Anapanasati Sutta will be explored over the next few months, with emphasis on the actual practice of mindfulness of breathing.  To further this process, there will be training meditations provided during the normal 45 minute meditation practice period at 7 PM Wednesday nights.  It’s uncertain whether the training meditations will be recorded.  During next week’s meeting, January 21, meditators will be provided with Mentholatumto apply on the rim of the nostrils with Q-tips, to facilitate ongoing awareness of the cycle of breathing in and out.

Previous post:

Next post: