Sunday 10am Community Practice & Discussion
It is said that Mindfulness of Breathing, Anapanasati, was the Buddha’s favorite practice. After having spent years as an ascetic practicing fasting, forceful control of the mind, and breath retention, he came to understand that following the natural rhythm of the breath was a more effective way to cultivate a state of tranquility that could lead to insight.
The Anapanasati Sutta lays out the practice in 16 steps which, if followed diligently, leads to an understanding of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness and the Seven Awakening Factors and, eventually, to liberation itself.
It begins with what are called the “preliminaries” which set the conditions for the rest of the practice. Like the “Arriving Sequence” created by Phillip Moffitt, the preliminaries can be practiced as a standalone practice. Bhikkhu Analayo has described them as the essence of meditation practice.
Ajahn Sucitto’s book Breathing Like a Buddha is a wonderful guide to the Anapanasati practice. You can download a copy from the web or order a print copy from Abhayagiri Monastery here. (A PDF of Bhikkhu Analayo’s book can also be downloaded should you want a more scholarly approach.)
Whether you’ve been practicing for one week or many decades, the preliminaries are invaluable.
Please join us on Sunday for an exploration and discussion of the preliminaries and their contribution to the practice of insight. All are welcome! Registration and Zoom information available here.