This is the second of a series of talks reviewing the Anapanasati Sutta, the Mindfulness of Breathing Discourse. The first two of the 16 steps in the process of observing the breath involve the application of atapi, a Pali word translated as diligent, or often as ardent. This entails a persistent, committed application of vitakka and vicara, aiming attention at the beginning of the breath and sustaining attention for the duration of the breath. This basic function, when practiced diligently, matures into one of the Seven Awakening Factors, Dhamma Vicaya, Investigation of Mental Phenomena. During the talk Peter also made suggestions to support the level of practice called acquiring the breath, which is the ability to maintain consistent focus on the breath for extended undistracted periods of time while meditating and also integrating mindfulness of breathing into normal daily routines. These skills set the conditions that promote achieving the remaining 14 of the 16 stages of Awakening through the practice of anapanasati. This was followed by general discussion about the individual practices of mindfulness of breathing practiced by those at the meeting.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: NOTES FOR ACQUIRING THE BREATH
Next week’s discussion focuses on using acquired breath awareness to become increasingly mindful of sensations throughout the body, the third and fourth stanzas of the Anapanasati Sutta.