Hi Robert and All,
Glad you brought this up–I have a pretty elementary question: Aa.napaa.nasati seems to be nearly universally recognized (in the last few decades anyway) as a kind of ‘vipassanaa meditation’, or satipa.t.thaana bhaavanaa (as opposed to samatha bhaavanaa). It seems to me though that aa.naa.paa.naa–inhaled and exhaled breath–is a concept or designation for a great many different, sequential naamaa and ruupaa.
I recall reading that the object of samatha bhaavanaa is usually(?) concept and that the object of satipa.t.thaana is always paramattha dhamma. If the latter is correct, then shouldn’t aa.napaa.nasati be properly regarded as samatha bhaavanaa rather than satipa.t.thaana vipassanaa bhaavanaa?
Thanks in Advance,
Great question Mike. I am travelling in and out of Thailand at the moment so a bit slow on replies. I will add some more posts about this subject during the week.
I’m slow to catch up, but this is a good question, and one I have as well:
Aa.napaa.nasati seems to be nearly universally recognized (in the last few decades anyway) as a kind of ‘vipassanaa meditation’, or satipa.t.thaana bhaavanaa (as opposed to samatha bhaavanaa). It seems to me though that aa.naa.paa.naa–inhaled and exhaled breath–is a concept or designation for a great many different, sequential naamaa and ruupaa.
Here’s a portion of the Mahaa Satipa.t.thaana Sutta:
Aanaapaanasati bhikkhave bhaavitaa bahulikataa cattaaro satipa.t.thaane paripurenti. Cattaaro satipa.t.thaanaa baavitaa bahulikataa satta bojjhange paripurenti. Satta bojjhangaa bhaavitaa bahulikataa vijjaavimutti paripurenti.
Why does the Buddha give the instruction and description of mindfulness of breath?
How does this fit with the overall sense of satipa.t.thaana? Why the direction to sit and focus on breath in this way, given your statement above, which I think is correct, that “breath” is “a concept or designation for a great many different, sequential naamaa and ruupaa?
And how is one to understand this, given that there is no one to sit, and postures are also conceptual?
“Bahulikata,” as I find, has meanings such as “practised frequently,” and “in application.” The word “bahu” means “to strengthen.” “Paripaceti” means “to bring to maturity,” or “to cause to ripen, to develop.” What is the way to understand this? The above quote says that the development and cultivation of mindfulness of breathing fulfills the four establishments of mindfulness, and more. What exactly does that mean?
With loving kindness,
Your questions are stirring my mind and I too wait for some clarification. As I was taught ,samatha, aanapaanasati is for calming mind and entering “higher states”, jhanas. To know that no one is sitting theoretically, and to KNOW that no one is sitting (but rather that “one sitting” is a conventional gathering of thought) requires insight. To obtain insight one first needs to gain control of the “flow” of consciousness, and once that has occured through aanapannasati you can begin to work on seeing the true nature of reality. Or so I practice. I await word from the venerable Robert K.
…To obtain insight one first needs to gain control of the “flow” of consciousness, and once that has occured through aanapannasati you can begin to work on seeing the true nature of reality.
Here’s the rub, according to my intellectual understanding: There is no one to control anything!
Jonathan Abbott writes:
Let’s consider for a moment mindfulness of breathing. We all breathe all day long, but breath is usually not an object of our attention. However, when it is, is there any reason why it should not be possible to experience the hardness or softness, heat or cold, appearing through the body door, that we normally take for breath? A moment of cognising one of the realities that we normally take for ‘breath’ is surely a moment of satipatthana with ‘breath’ as object. This would not seem to require a special time, place or posture.
In a recent post you mentioned the passage from the Satipatthana Sutta on mindfulness of breathing. (This is an extremely difficult sutta to understand, but we need not go into that here.)
To my understanding, that particular passage is an instruction specially directed to those who were already adept at samatha of a high level with breath as object. In the words of the commentary (p. 54 of Soma Thera’s translation), “This is the portal to emancipation of the bhikkhu devoted to meditation on breathing”.
So when it talks about having gone to a quiet place, adopting a classic ‘meditation’ posture, long and short in-breaths and out-breaths etc it is describing the established practice of the very audience to whom it was primarily directed.
Why did the Buddha see the need to address this particular audience on satipatthana with breath as object? Perhaps because when the development of samatha has already progressed to the level that the object of samatha has been replaced by an ‘image’ (nimitta) of that object, moments of satipatthana are not possible during absorption on the image, since the object of the moment of consciousness is a concept rather than a reality.
If this interpretation is correct, then this part of the sutta should not be regarded as requiring us, or even as advising us, as relative beginners at samatha/vipassana, to undertake a particular kind of ‘meditation practice’ in order to develop mindfulness of breathing.
So to return to your comment, I am very much interested the traditional teachings. But I do not necessarily accept the modern-day interpretation of them. However, I am always happy to discuss any views that are reasonably open on the texts.
Dear R. E.
I’m not sure if you read my earlier post where I noted that some among the objects of samatha do require special conditions including a crosslegged posture, erect back, a very quiet place, solitude… This is all well explained in the visuddhimagga. In particular this applies to anapanasati – breath. If that is the object one chooses then these conditions are necessary if one wants to succeed. However, we should know that anapanasati is singled out as being the most difficult of all the 40 objects.Here is a passage from the
211: “Although any meditation subject, no matter what, is successful only in one who is mindful and fully aware, yet any meditation subject other than this one gets more evident as he goes on giving it his attention. But this mindfulness of breathing is difficult, difficult to develop, a field in which only the minds of Buddhas, paccekabuddhas and Buddhas sons are at home. It is no trivial matter, nor can it be cultivated by trivial persons…”
Also one should understand the difference bettwen the development of vipassana and samatha (see dans post earlier today for some good points). For the one who is truly at home with samatha bhavana (calm meditation) then that has to be an object for insight as well other wise it will be taken a self. It is not considered a preferable object but rather that all objects should be known as they are for insight to develop. Hence Erik noted that his biggest insights have come while seeing panic as being anatta, while one who is a master of jhana would have to see those very pleasant objects in the same way – as conditioned phenomena- for it to be an object for the development of vipassana. All kusala is supportive, to some degree, of the path, so if we have the skill and wish to develop samatha that is good . But easy, as dan mentioned, to get confused about the difference between sati(of the eigtfold path) and samadhi and samatha and vipassana.
One can have subtle desire for just a little more calmness, a little more clarity of mind. And if so one is not developing vipassana. This slight desire moves one out of the present moment – one doesn’t want to see what is there at this very moment. If we are sittting crosslegged now and we feel we have to stand to have awareness, or read a Dhamma book, then that would show a misunderstanding. I feel the issue of positions becomes irrelevant to vippasana bhavana to the degree that there is understanding of the objects for sati (all paramatha dhammas). For sure some people are going to want to sit quietly more than others. But it should be by their accumulations, their nature, rather than because they think it is the condition for insight.
Also it takes time for everyone to understand how to be aware: that is to be aware without craving for some experience. Seeing and colour are objects that the Buddha mentioned time and again and yet so few people seem to be interested in these objects. But why? Because of colours and seeing so many concepts are formed up in the following mind-door processes. If there is not awareness in association with wise attention (yoniso manisikara) after seeing then there will be ignorance or craving or dosa. One will believe (attasanna -self perception) that one sees people, friends, enemies, neutral ones, or computers, cars etc.. But seeing only experiences colours. Panna (insight) in conjunction with sati and samadhi and other factors can understand this and break the wheel of dependent origination (paticcasamupada) there and then. Not necessary to be watching the breath or sitting in the full lotus for this to happen
Dear R. E.,
I think there are many reasons why the breath is so popular. For one thing it is the basis from which all Buddhas attain enlightenment. For another it is highly praised by the Buddha.The breath is in many ways a neutral object, hence it can be said to be suitable for all personality types.It is especially good for quieting discursive thought. However, as we see it is not recommended for all.
Breath as an object of samatha is difficult. If it is being developed correctly the citta that knows breath is associated with panna(wisdom ) and alobha(detachment)- Sometimes we can know breath BUT with lobha (attachment).However, even if it is an object of attachment it may still have benefits (in a conventional way)- it can be good for health or help to reduce the amount of thinking one does (hence less worries). It can help concentration too. It doesn’t interfere with one’s views when it is used in this way. Even fanatical terrorists could profitably develop it (in the attachment way – not as true samatha) as a way to relax themselves and focus the mind. Whereas such objects as Dhammanusati or Buddhanusati (ones that don’t need special posture and that the Buddha specifically recommended to laypeople) will have an impact on view- and hence may not seem so appealing.
“Can someone who does not have an intellectual bent really follow the sutras of the
abhidhamma? I doubt it. ”
Well I have some very good friends in Thailand who have been listening to T. A. Sujin’s radio program for more than 20 years. They are very poor and completely illiterate. And the details in Thai are much more than we write here in English. I think the reasons one is interested in Abhidhamma go back over lifetimes and even aeons. I agree that only an intellectual would be interested in abhidhamma as an academic subject – but it is different once we see that Abhidhamma is about life here and now. I sometimes wonder why anyone wouldn’t be interested in Abhidhamma.
look fwd to your further comments.
Nina van Gorkom writes:
Dear L and R. Ep,
Thank you for your input. There are many things to consider in the passage you quoted. As we can see, the right conditions for jhana and for vipassana have to be developed, nothing arises automatically. I would like to go back somewhat in this section on breathing. I shall make use of what I wrote in my Book “The World in the Buddhist Sense”.
We should note that there is a division into four sections of four clauses each in this sutta which, in the Visuddhimagga, are marked from I-XVI. I noticed that Larry and Rob Ep were already dealing with the third tetrad, group of four, but now we could start with the first tetrad. Some tetrads deal with calm, some with vipassana, as we shall see.
First I quote the sutta. The sutta (K V, Book X, Ch 1, §1,) states:
It has been described by the Blessed One as having sixteen bases thus: ŒAnd how developed, bhikkhus, how practised much is concentration through mindfulness of breathing both peaceful and sublime, an unadulterated blissful abiding, banishing at once and stilling evil unprofitable thoughts as soon as they arise? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu, gone to the forest or to the root of a tree or to an empty place, sits down; having folded his legs crosswise, set his body erect, established mindfulness in front of him, ever mindful he breathes in, mindful he breathes out.
(I) Breathing in long, he knows ³I breathe in long²; or breathing out long, he knows ³I breathe out long².
(II) Breathing in short, he knows ³I breathe in short²; or breathing out short, he knows ³I breathe out short².
(III) He trains thus ³I shall breathe in experiencing the whole body²; he trains thus ³I shall breathe out
experiencing the whole body².
(IV) He trains thus ³I shall breathe in tranquillizing the bodily activity²; he trains thus ³I shall breathe out
tranquillizing the bodily activity².
(V) He trains thus ³I shall breathe in experiencing happiness²; he trains thus ³I shall breathe out experiencing happiness².
(VI) He trains thus ³I shall breathe in experiencing bliss²; he trains thus ³I shall breathe out experiencing bliss².
(VII) He trains thus ³I shall breathe in experiencing the mental formation²; he trains thus ³I shall breathe out experiencing the mental formation².
(VIII) He trains thus ³I shall breathe in tranquillizing the mental formation²; he trains thus ³I shall breathe out tranquillizing the mental formation².
(IX) He trains thus ³I shall breathe in experiencing the (manner of) consciousness²; he trains thus ³I shall breathe out experiencing the (manner of) consciousness².
(X) He trains thus ³I shall breathe in gladdening the (manner of) consciousness²; he trains thus ³I shall breathe out gladdening the (manner of) consciousness².
(XI) He trains thus ³I shall breathe in concentrating the (manner of) consciousness²; he trains thus ³I shall breathe out concentrating the (manner of) consciousness².
(XII) He trains thus ³I shall breathe in liberating the (manner of) consciousness²; he trains thus ³I shall breathe out liberating the (manner of) consciousness².
(XIII) He trains thus ³I shall breathe in contemplating impermanence²; he trains thus ³I shall breathe out contemplating impermanence².
(XIV) He trains thus ³I shall breathe in contemplating fading away²; he trains thus ³I shall breathe out contemplating fading away².
(XV) He trains thus ³I shall breathe in contemplating cessation²; he trains thus ³I shall breathe out contemplating cessation².
(XVI) He trains thus ³I shall breathe in contemplating relinquishment²; he trains thus ³I shall breathe out
In the word commentary to the above quoted sutta the Visuddhimagga (VIII, 223-226) mentions with regard to the first tetrad (group of four clauses, marked I-IV) of the sutta the different stages of insight-knowledge which are developed after emerging from jhåna. We read:
Those who develop both jhåna and vipassanå should, after the jhånacitta has fallen away, be aware of nåma and rúpa, clearly know their different characteristics and develop all stages of insight (Visuddhimagga VIII, 223 and following).
It depends on the accumulated wisdom whether the different stages of insight can be realized within a short time or whether they are developed very gradually during a long period of time. ŒAfter he has thus reached the four noble paths in due succession and has become established in the fruition of arahatship, he at last attains to the nineteen kinds of ³Reviewing Knowledge², and he becomes fit to receive the highest gifts from the world with its deities.¹
It is evident that only those who had accumulated great wisdom could attain jhåna with ³mindfulness of breathing² as meditation subject, and then attain arahatship.
The Visuddhimagga carefully describes the development of jhana, of the jhanafactors which counteract the hindrances. Someone may wonder how we can know that jhana is attained, could it not happen that someone takes for jhana what is a trance but not jhana? This is a matter of panna. Panna and sati are necessary. When there is panna there is no doubt. Panna should know when the citta is kusala and when akusala, and this not in theory, but right at the moment it appears. Panna should know the different jhanafactors which are cetasikas, and not merely in theory. Take the jhanafactors piti, rapture, and sukha, pleasant feeling. In daily life and in the lower stages of jhana they arise together, but can they be clearly distinguished? Only panna can do this. it is trhe same in the case of vitakka and vicara, applied thinking and discursive thinking. They usually arise together, but, in the development of jhana panna should be able to distinguish them. After emerging from jhana one should know with insight all nama and rupa that appear. All stages of insight have to be developed, beginning with tender insight, distinguishing the characteristic of rupa from the characteristic of nama. How could otherwise the arising and falling away of nama and rupa, impermanence be realized? As I wrote before, one should also have mastery of jhana (Vis. IV, 131). One should be able to attain jhana and emerge from it at any time, in any place. Next time I shall go to the following tetrads.
Best wishes from Nina.
Nin van Gorkom writes:
Dear friends, now we come to the second tetrad, group of four, of the sutta on Mindfulness of Breathing, the Visuddhimagga comments upon:
V) He trains thus I shall breathe in experiencing happiness; he trains thus I shall breathe out experiencing happiness. (VI) He trains thus ara~n~nagato vaa”tiaadimaaha.
N: Therefore the Blessed One, pointing out the dwelling suitable for that, said, gone to the forets etc. (As is)
Remarks: We see here that this meditation subject is for those who can attain jhana and develop insight even to arahatship. Some time ago (In September 002) I made a study of the Co to the Anapana Sati sutta. I quote again and also include posts of Jon:
We read in the Co. to the Anapana Sati Sutta:
But here the mindfulness which lays hold of breathing in and out is mundane (lokiya); mundane breathing in and out perfects the mundane foundations of mindfulness; the mundane foundations of mindfulness perfect the supramundane (lokuttara) enlightenment factors; the supramundane enlightenment factors perfect nibbana as the fruit of clear vision and deliverance
The Co states that it is thus elsewhere (in other texts), but that in this sutta it is handed down that the mundane foundations of mindfulness perfect the mundane enlightenment factors, and that these perfect clear vision (vijjå), deliverance (vimutti), fruition (phala) and nibbana, which are lokuttara. Because in this sutta ³clear vision and deliverance² designate clear vision, fruition (phala) and nibbana.
N : If jhana is not reached, and there are not the masteries (vasis) in jhana, such as attaining and emerging at any time, at any place, samatha, the development of calm, cannot be a foundation for vipassana.
As Jon said,
the Anapanasati Sutta is a teaching on attaining to the superior kind of insight known as ‘insight both ways’, based on jhana, in this case jhana with breath as object. As such, is directed at those who have already attained jhana with breath as object or who are potentially capable of doing so. For such individuals, breath is already a naturally arising object in their daily life, a daily life that is far different from yours
And Jon said also:
As I have indicated, the sutta was given for the benefit of those (monks) who are already highly adept at attending to the breath (actually, its nimitta) as an object of samatha, and for those persons the
sutta is indeed about the discernment of an ‘everyday object’.
N: I would add:the bhikkhus the sutta was addressed to were highly adept, they were arahats or they had accumulations to attain arahatship. We read even after the first tetrad (Of mindfulness of breath) in the
After he has thus reached the four noble paths in due succession and has become established in the fruition of arahatship, he at last attains to the nineteen kinds of ³Reviewing Knowledge², and he becomes fit to receive the highest gifts from the world with its deities.
(Jon to Rob Ep, Sept 16):
The Anapanasati Sutta is a teaching on attaining to the superior kind of insight known as ‘insight both ways’, based on jhana, in this case jhana with breath as object. As such, is directed at those who have already attained jhana with breath as object or who are potentially capable of doing so. For such individuals, breath is already a naturally arising object in their daily life, a daily life that is far different from yours and mine. So, no, I do not read this sutta as advocating anything about taking a particular object for insight development…
As I have indicated, the sutta was given for the benefit of those (monks) who are already highly adept at attending to the breath (actually, its nimitta) as an object of samatha, and for those persons the sutta is indeed about the discernment of an ‘everyday object’.
2. one can study all the pali, commentaries, and subcommentaries until the end of time, but in the final analysis, the only valid proof is the confirmation from one’s own realization experienced directly. To this end, we have to carefully scrutinize the canon to identify which parts are the most authoritative and significant. For example, in the early suttas, you would be hard pressed to find any references to kasinas and 40 meditation objects. What you do find is sutta passages that indicate that of the 4 foundations of mindfulness, mindfulness of body is the most important, and of the those, mindfulness of breath is given special prominence. What this tells me is that the serious cultivator should be spending a fair amount of their effort engaged in mindfulness of body, especially the breath. The early pali suttas also say that if we carefully cultivate mindfulness of breath, that it would naturally bring all 4 foundations of mindfulness to fruition, would lead to samatha, vipassana, single pointedness of mind and induce jhanic absorption. What a wonderful tool! All the study of the canon does not equal one minute of peace, joy, tranquillity and insight that is easily availabe to us from cultivating the breath. This can be verified with one’s own experience without even obtaining jhanic absorption.
If one has the ability and inclination to develop anapanasati that is great. Still it is good to know that many conditions are needed to suceed in this: Some meditation subjects need a crosslegged posture, erect back, a very quiet place, solitude… This is all well explained in the visuddhimagga. In particular this applies to anapanasati – breath. Also we should know that anapanasati is singled out as being the most difficult of all the 40 objects.Here is a passage from the Visuddhimagga Viii
211: “Although any meditation subject, no matter what, is successful only in one who is mindful and fully aware, yet any meditation subject other than this one gets more evident as he goes on giving it his attention. But this mindfulness of breathing is difficult, difficult to develop, a field in which only the minds of Buddhas, paccekabuddhas and Buddhas sons are at home. It is no trivial matter, nor can it be cultivated by trivial persons..”
(we discussed this on pali list last year) We might be concentrating on the breath with subtle lobha (attachment) not realising that true samatha comes with alobha, detachment.
In many suttas the Buddha was speaking to monks who had vast accumulations of panna and other parami. It is not, I believe, that the Buddha said that all should take up anapanasati.
There are other types of samatha – such as Maranasati (meditation on death)- that are suitable for all times.
For example the Anguttara nikaya (Book of the Elevens ii 13 p213 Mahanama) says about Buddhanusati and Dhammanusati and several other samatha objects:
“` you should develop it as you sit, as you stand, as you lie, as you apply yourself to business. You should make it grow as you dwell at home in your lodging crowded with children”
In the Samyutta nikaya V (Sayings on stream entry p347 The great chapter Dhammadina ) 5oo rich merchants came to see the Buddha . They asked how they should live their lives. The Buddha suggested that they train themselves thus:
“as to those discourses uttered by the Tathagatha, deep, deep in meaning, transcendental and concerned with the void (about anatta) from time to time we will spend our days learning them. That is how you must spend your days.”
In the satipatthana sutta the Buddha explains the four foundations of mindfulness. These can be cultivated in any position at any time.
Talk about accumulations, or lack thereof, is also baffling to me. Certainly some would find seclusion and tranquillity easier to cultivate than others, but if you don’t accumulate now, when are you going to accumulate? After you’re dead?
It is relevant because this is a Buddha sasana – a very rare event. If one develops samatha bhavana that is wonderful. Indeed all of us have developed samatha and we must have succeeded in gaining jhana in countless lives. This is because of the vast time of samsara. However only very rarely has there been insight into anatta, into the lakkhana (characteristic) of elements. That is why some of us believe that we should give stress to this aspect of the Dhamma. The Buddha sasana will soon be extinguished and it will be a long time before another samma-sammbuddha arises.
It is said, “Anapanasati is difficult,difficult to develop, a field in which only the minds of Buddhas,paccekabuddhas and Buddhas sons are at home” and “The most difficult of the 40 meditation
Why then is anapanasati recommended for a “Moha carita person”?
What is the definition of “Buddhas sons”?
I think the texts indicate that the Buddha’s sons means Mahapurisa, those with great accumulations. When you look at the other 37 objects of samatha in the Visuddhimagga we see that only anapanasati is singled out for this special attention. Anapanasati is the samatha object that all the Buddha’s use on the eve of their attainment, it is such a wonderful object for those who can develop it. But that doesn’t mean it is easy.
From visuddimagga 211 viii the pali:
Ki~ncaapi hi ya.mki~nci kamma.t.thaana.m satassa sampajaanasseva sampajjati. Ito a~n~na.m pana manasikarontassa paaka.ta.m hoti. Ida.m pana aanaapaanassatikamma.t.thaana.m garuka.m garukabhaavana.m buddhapaccekabuddhabuddhaputtaana.m mahaapurisaa na.myeva manasikaarabhuumibhuuta.m, na ceva ittara.m, na ca ittarasattasamaasevita.m. Yathaa yathaa manasi kariiyati, tathaa tathaa santa ~nceva hoti sukhuma~nca. Tasmaa ettha balavatii sati ca pa~n~naa ca icchitabbaa.
It is a stock phrase in the commentaries with regard to anapanasati. E.g: Patisambhidhimagga -atthakatha anapanassatikatha and in the Commentary to vinaya Parajika khanda attakatha. There are other places too.
You wonder why in the Visuddhimagga Buddhaghosa in one section says it is the hardest of all samatha objects and in another says that it is suitable for the mohacarita, one with a temperament on the ignorant side?
As I mentioned in an earlier letter anapanasati is suitable for both mohacarita as RoBM mentioned and also the vitakkacaritassa (discursive ) type. The six temperaments come in pairs: so the one of hating temperament is parallel to the one of intelligent temperament in that both are disaffected and do not cling; hating in an unprofitable way and intelligence in a profitable way.
The discursive type has many applied thoughts due to thinking over various aspects. Anapanasati is the meditation which especially stills vitakka and vicara, which both vittakka and mohacarissa types have a lot of. The Visuddhimagga III 122 “Mindfulness of breathing should be developed for the purpose of
cutting off of applied thought..”
Interesting to see that the one of greedy temperament – who when doing any task “acts skillfully, gently evenly and carefully” should ideally not have much time in a sitting posture when trying to develop samatha:”the right kind of posture for him is standing or walking”III 98.
Back to the question: why give the most difficult of all subjects to the one of deluded temperament? Because it is the outstanding one for cutting off thinking, and the deluded temperament conjectures unskillfully about all manner of things. Does this then mean that it is easy to develop? No, as the Visuddhimagga says it is the most difficult. Can the one of deluded temperament develop it then? Yes, if they have the parami etc. No, if not. Remember that one can have enormous skillful parami and still be one of the
not so good in temperament. This is because the temperament is to a large degree decided by the the type of rebirth producing kamma in this life.
There are also other classifications of recommended objects. Death, maranasati, for example, is recommended for the one of intelligent temperament when considering the carita. But it is recommended for all when considering by way of its great helpfulness (vis. iii 59) Again metta is recommended for the one with hate temperament when considering carita but is said to be good for all when considered by way of its “general usefulness” and “great helpfulness” iii59.
Note that even though metta is said to be especially suitable for the hating type it doesn`t necessarily follow that the one of hating temperament will succeed in developing jhana by using it. The same for breath and the mohacaritassa.
I think it is clear that the Buddha’s sons means Mahapurisa, those
with great accumulations. When you look at the other 37 objects of
samatha in the Visuddhimagga you will see that only anapanasati is
singled out for this special attention.
I think we see that anapanasati is the samatha object that even the
Buddha’s use on the eve of their attainment, it is such a wonderful
object for those who can develop it. But that doesn’t mean it is
From visuddimagga 211 viii the pali: Ki~ncaapi hi ya.mki~nci
kamma.t.thaana.m satassa sampajaanasseva sampajjati. Ito
a~n~na.m pana manasikarontassa paaka.ta.m
hoti. Ida.m pana aanaapaanassatikamma.t.thaana.m garuka.m
garukabhaavana.m buddhapaccekabuddhabuddhaputtaana.m mahaapurisaa
na.myeva manasikaarabhuumibhuuta.m, na ceva ittara.m, na ca
ittarasattasamaasevita.m. Yathaa yathaa manasi kariiyati, tathaa
~nceva hoti sukhuma~nca. Tasmaa ettha balavatii sati ca pa~n~naa ca
It is actually a stock phrase in the commentaries with regard to
Patisambhidhimagga -atthakatha anapanassatikatha and in the
Commentary to vinaya
Parajika khanda attakatha
. There are other places too.
Some people get offended that anyone should point out the difficulty
of anapanasati and think this is disparagement. However, it is
helpful for peolple who may have been using this object and have not
had success as then they may consider that other objects are also
recommended by the Buddha, and these may be more suitable. For those
that use anapanasati and are successful then they need no further
help, of course.