Introduction to Meditation - Anapanasati
In this course we will share the most detailed meditation technique found in the Early Buddhist Texts, called ānāpānasmṛti in Sanskrit or Ānāpānasati in Pāli, usually translated as “Mindfulness of Breathing.”
This technique consists of 4 tetrads, containing 16 steps or stages, where the meditator learn how to observe the mind-body processes, including sensations, emotions, thought and the more subtle relationship between these phenomena and the common clinging to these that produces attachment and dissatisfaction.
Ānāpānasati is described as a mental cultivation process that fulfills the 4 Foundations of Mindfulness or Satipaṭṭhāna, the 7 Awakening Factors, Śamatha and Vipassana together, Dyhana, and eventually Knowledge and Freedom, therefore contains the whole path of practice laid down by the Buddha in the Early Buddhist Texts using Right Concentration or Samma Samādhi.
The purpose of mental cultivation is to develop clear seeing into the relationship of mind-body processes, clinging and freedom from it and to help one understand the impermanence of our clung-to identity.
You can find the discourse ascribed to the Buddha where he teaches Ānāpānasati here.
We will cover the 16 steps in 10 half an hour sessions, where always starting from the first step, we will be diving into more subtle states of our consciousness and contemplation of the processes.
The four tetrads are:
1. Contemplation of form (body) (rūpa) Sessions 1 to 4
2. Contemplation of Sensations (vedanā) Sessions 5 to 8
3. Contemplation of Thought (citta) Sessions 9 - 12
4. Contemplation of processes (saṃskāra - Saṅkhāra) 13-16
You can find a detail step-by-step chart below.
We will divide the steps as following:
- The Discourse of Mindfulness of Breathing - The Ānāpānasati Sutta https://suttacentral.net/mn118/en/sujato
- The Discourse of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness – The Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta https://suttacentral.net/sn43.5
Discourses of the Buddha from the Early Buddhist Texts