The target of Anapanasati Meditation is to reach mindfulness through focusing on feeling the breath (without directly focusing on the breath). With this exercise should you practice to free your mind of unnecessary thoughts and worries. It makes your mind and body available for following exercises. Anapanasati Meditation is preliminary and opening the door for Meditations to come.
This Meditation will clear your mind to reach mindfulness. Beside preparing for Meditating body and mind, you will be able to better focus on your tasks and find solutions easier. You will be able to experience your environment more detailed.
As for all other exercises, can’t you expect to reach the best result already with the first time trying. You need to meditate repeatedly and regularly to get the best results. If you should feel any kind of pain during the Meditation, e.g. caused by a sitting position, please directly stop and contact a physician. Your health goes first.
Depending n your level of experience, may you apply this practice in different ways. I will describe two different ways in the following.
Anapanasati for Beginers
First, please go into sitting position of your choice (tailor seat, Casual sitting, half lotus, lotus) at a place where you feel good, where nothing and no one disturbs you. For details, please click here.
Especially in the beginning, it is important to choose a location without disturbance. Maybe you choose a quiet room. With some practice will you be able to also meditate e.g. in a nice park, but let us start at a place where your full attention is on yourself.
Having reached a comfortable position, can we now work on getting your mind free of unnecessary and disturbing thoughts. Take the chance and clear your mind, be open for everything that happens around you.
Feel the breath either on the tip of your nose, or in your belly. Breath naturally, however you feel. When you breath in the first time, repeat counting “1” in your mind (repeat for yourself: 1, 1, 1,…). breath out naturally. The second time inhaling, repeat counting the “2” (repeat in your mind: 2, 2, 2,…). This is called slow counting. Proceed breathing like this, counting at least until 5 and maximum until 10. It is not recommended to repeat it less or more.
The focusing on counting one single number while breathing in, shall prepare you on getting your mind free of everything else. It shall quiet your mind, stop you thinking. You will forget about other things on your mind. Something you repeat with this target is called “Mantra”. In this case, each number you repeat is a mantra.
When you start feeling the results, feel free to change to Quick Counting. Repeat each number only once in your mind.
You can follow this meditation several times a day. I would recommend to do it in the morning and the evening once and follow with meditations for body and / or mind afterwards.
When you feel ready to clear your mind without repeating the numbers, and you are ready for a bit more challenging environments, feel free to meditate “Anapanasati for Experts”, following below.
Anapanasati for Experts
Look for a place where you want to meditate. This might be outside in a park, where you can also enjoy the sun and the wind, but also in a silent room or a room with ruminant music. Important is that you are able to focus on yourself only for some time.
Come into a sitting position, as described on the side linked here. Being in a comfortable position, please proceed.
Breath naturally. Focus, either on the sensations of your belly rising and falling, on your nose, or on the feeling on your nose. The focus is not directly on your breath.
Your Mind is Clear
This simple meditation exercise has the possibility to clear your mind and feel more mindful afterwards.
For feeling this, you need to practice Anapanasati Meditation regularly. It is like e.g. learning to ride a bike. You usually cannot ride it straight away, but need practice. If you have challenges, learning and experiencing it on your own, feel free to visit any Buddhist association or Buddhist center around the world.