Anapanasati Meditation (Mindfulness of Breathing)
This is the most important meditation practice in Theravada Buddhism.
Contemplation and re- contemplation of ‘Ana’ / inhalation (the intake of breath through the nostrils into the body) and ‘Pana’/exhalation (the outgoing of breath through the nostrils from the body) advances the concentration of the mind. All the Buddhas become enlightened based on this meditation. The number of “Paseka Buddhas” and “Arahanths” who have attained so, using this meditation is countless.
Our great Buddha applauded Anapanasati Meditation as thus:
The contemplation of ‘Anapanasati’ developed and practiced again and again is peaceful; delightful; naturally pleasant; Brings physical & mental happiness. Has the power to disappear and pacify the low demerits.”
The person who wants to do this meditation should know properly about the form and position of his nose, about the air that comes and goes through it and about the places that air touches (nostrils, upper lip, edge of the nostrils…) and causes sensation.
He should find a peaceful place with fresh air devoid of mosquitoes and flies for his meditation.
Before meditation, one should wash himself and wear clean clothes.
Then sit comfortably; the back straight, keeping the feet firmly on the ground if sitting on a chair. Pray to our great Buddha and start the meditation.
Concentrate on the passage of air that goes inside the body through the nostrils down to the naval and comes up, while breathing.
The persons who do this meditation properly can develop Dhyana (Various states of contemplation)and even attain enlightenment by eliminating all defilements.