Hi Jechbi, thanks for your post...
Meditation is my favourite subject.
I interpreted 'efforts' post to mean that s/he was already familiar with Vipassana meditation but wanted to know more about Samatha / absorption, in as few words as possible – hence my reply. Your comments seem to relate more to Vipassana, the 'watching' of arisings rather than just focussing entirely on the breath, as in Samatha.
Sole focus on the respiration is what is required in a Samatha session. The focus is entirely on the rise and fall of the breath, there is no 'avoidance' in it, just focus as in any practice that requires ones full attention. An archer shooting at his target focusses solely on the bulls-eye. The surgeon operating on his patient pays full attention to his task, the student focusses entirely on the exam to be completed. There is no avoidance in any of these examples, just total attention on the current task – why should meditation be treated any differently?
As I understand it, Buddhist meditation is practised in three ways (not counting kasina practices here), they are either straight Vipasanna, a blend of Vipassana and Samatha, and straight Samatha. In a straight Vipassana session the focus is on the arisings, presentation and subsidings of mental content and physical sensations. The Vipassana / Samatha pratice begins with watching arisings / subsidings but when the mind is not productive of content then the attention is returned to the respiration, in the straight Samatha practice, the whole session is devoted to complete absorption in the respiration.
The straight Vipassana practice is excellent practice for active minds with little or any breaks between mental content or a fidgety, demanding body. The Vipassana / Samatha practice is excellent for a more quieter mind that will subside somewhere within the allotted time of the session, so that the quieter mind can then be focussed upon the breath and the Samatha only meditation session is excellent for those minds with little, if any mental content, that can easily be turned to the breath without undue effort.
There is yet another aspect to Vipasanna that need not be mentioned here.
I hope my comments have helped...
All the best
Just a view - nothing more...