Ajahn. Chah wrote:AC: That’s fine. Whatever suits you, whatever you feel comfortable with and helps you fix your mind, focus on that.
It’s like this: in teaching meditation, if we get attached to the ideals and take the guidelines too literally, it can be difficult to understand. When doing a standard meditation, such as anapanasati, first we should make the determination that right now, we are going to do this practice, and we take anapanasati as our foundation. We turn our attention to only focusing on the breath, at three points, as it passes through the nostrils, the chest, and the abdomen. When the air enters, it first passes the nose, then through the chest, then to the end point of the abdomen. As it leaves the body, the beginning is the abdomen, the middle is the chest, and the end is the nose.
We merely note it. This is a way to start controlling the mind, tying awareness to these points at the beginning, middle, and end of the inhalations and exhalations.
Before we begin, we should sit and let the mind relax first. It’s similar to doing something like sewing on a machine. When we are learning to use the sewing machine, first we just sit in front of the machine to get familiar with it and feel comfortable. Here, we just sit and breathe. Not fixing awareness on anything, we merely take note that we are breathing. We take note of whether the breath is relaxed or not and how long or short it is. Having noticed this, then we begin focusing on the inhalation and exhalation at the three points.
We practice like this until we become skilled in it and it is going smoothly. Then the next stage is to focus awareness only on the sensation of the breath at the tip of the nose or the upper lip. At this point we aren’t concerned with whether the breath is long or short, but only focus on the sensation of entering and exiting.
salaatti wrote:How long should this "body-scan" last and how thoroughly this should be done?
Ajahn Brahm wrote:When you focus on the breath, you focus on the experience of the breath happening now. You experience `that which tells you what the breath is doing', whether it is going in or out or in between. Some teachers say to watch the breath at the tip of the nose, some say to watch it at the abdomen and some say to move it here and then move it there. I have found through experience that it does not matter where you watch the breath. In fact it is best not to locate the breath anywhere! If you locate the breath at the tip of your nose then it becomes nose awareness, not breath awareness, and if you locate it at your abdomen then it becomes abdomen awareness. Just ask yourself the question right now, "Am I breathing in or am I breathing out?" How do you know? There! That experience which tells you what the breath is doing, that is what you focus on in breath meditation. Let go of concern about where this experience is located; just focus on the experience itself.
"I have found through experience that it does not matter where you watch the breath. In fact it is best not to locate the breath anywhere!"
"We practice like this until we become skilled in it and it is going smoothly. Then the next stage is to focus awareness only on the sensation of the breath at the tip of the nose or the upper lip."
"The Buddha never mentioned nostril, or body in any way outside of relaxing. Most times when you have instructions on meditation, they tell you to put your attention on one particular place in your body. But the Buddha, if he thought that was important, he would have said it very specifically. If you put your attention on one particular place in your body, you have the tendency to really focus very hard at that one place. But the Buddha did say you understand when you breathe in long and when you breathe out long, or short. So it’s just knowing the breath, not focusing on the breath, but seeing the breath clearly."
salaatti wrote:...now I'm confused
salaatti wrote:Is there different results from doing one one-pointed concentration and meditation described by Ajahn Brahm and Vimalaramsi?
In Anapanasati and Satipatthana sutta it is recommended to establish remembrance (sati) near the mouth (parimukhaṃ), in the region between mouth and nostrils:
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