This is a nice enough introduction, and liked the read, but the second article brings to mind typical differences when starting to meditate...
" to connect and sustain attention with a single inbreath -- we have to let go of preoccupation with the method itself; we have to do that in order to allow the connection to be made! In addition to striving to practice the technique, one also has to quit trying; this is necessary in order actually to practice it. It sounds paradoxical, but it can be done."
"We can use our own wisdom, even when beginning, to get the right balance between effort and concentration, between the activities of aiming/sustaining and the restful awareness that does not involve doing anything at all."
Allowing attentive connection and sustained awareness sometimes means vigorous and energetic use of anchors, sometimes it means a quiet receptivity and openness. In life we continually balance the energy and receptivity. And then there can appear the odd & amazing & thorough combination of energy and receptivity which surprises us because it is so thoroughly both. One goes right off the grid! Into the void!
What I have been suggesting is that even to observe one single inbreath one needs to let go of the raft; yet practicing with the methods can be useful for most of us, just to get us into the ballpark. So that is what I mean in saying we continually use the form but do not hold onto form.
The raft simile taken as the 8fold path, why would you let go of it just to observe a single breath?
1) sustained attention to to object. If it wanders bring it right back. Seen as more of a concentration practice.
2) using object as anchor, but if attention wanders/drawn elsewhere pay attention to that before returning to object. Seen as more of a mindfulness practice.
3) No object as anchor. If it wanders so what? Shakantaza? Choiceless Awareness?
Thoughts on these three practices? A forth? Samadhi being the 8th factor in 8fold path, why not start with option one? Is one too narrow, three too broad? Does three have any early text support or more turning traditional mediation around?