What Is Anapanasati?

Last Updated on October 12, 2022 by Soularize01

Anapanasati means “mindfulness of breathing.” It’s a meditation technique that many people use to calm their minds and develop concentration. You focus on your breath as you breathe in and out. You notice where your mind wanders as you do so — back to the breath, or off into thoughts — and then bring your attention back to the breath again and again.

Mindfulness is the foundation of Buddhist meditation practice. When you’re mindful, you’re aware of what’s happening in the present moment without judging yourself or what you’re experiencing. This allows you to stay calm even when things aren’t going well. Meditation also helps train your mind so that when something happens that makes you stressed out or anxious, your mind will naturally return to being mindful instead of getting caught up in negative emotions such as fear or anger.

The Buddha taught that there are three kinds of enlightenment. The first is called Sotapatti, which means stream entry. Stream entry is the first stage of enlightenment and represents a person who has attained some insight into the nature of reality. After attaining stream entry, one can never be reborn in any of the lower realms or states of existence (hell, hungry ghost, or animal). This is because one’s mind has become so pure that it no longer generates karmic tendencies that would cause rebirth in these realms.

Let’s jump right in

What are the benefits of Anapanasati?

The benefits of Anapanasati are many. Some of the most important ones are:

Improved concentration.

Improved focus and attention.

Calmness and peace of mind.

Reduced stress, anxiety, and depression.

Improved memory and brain function.

Improved sleep quality – better sleep is associated with improved memory, learning capacity, concentration, and mood among other things!

What are the 16 steps of Anapanasati?

1. Mindfulness of breathing (Anapanasati)

2. Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in (Anapanasati 1)

3. Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out (Anapanasati 2)

4. Calming the bodily formation (Shanti-sampajanna)

5. Calming the mental formation (Passaddhi-sampajanna)

More Steps:

How Can Anapanasati Lead Me Toward Enlightenment?

The answer is yes, and this is the reason why:

The second level of enlightenment is known as Sakadagami, which means once-returner. A once-returner is someone who will be reborn only one more time before attaining complete enlightenment. After attaining this level, one will no longer be born as a human being but rather as an angel or divine being in one of the heavens (or Brahma world) before returning to earth one last time to attain full enlightenment and enter Nibbana (nirvana).

The third level of enlightenment is known as Anagami, which means non-returner. A non-returner will never again be reborn on earth but will go directly from this life into Nibbana.

Difference between Anapanasati and Vipassana?

What makes this so special?

The difference is that Anapanasati focuses on observing the breath and Vipassana focuses on observing other things.

In Anapanasati, you focus on the breath as it comes in, as it goes out, and most importantly, as it rests in the breath at your nostrils or chest. You feel it as a physical sensation in your body, but you also notice sensations of lightness and heaviness, coolness, or warmth. You can also notice changes in color or flavor if you like.

In Vipassana meditation, there is no concentration on the breath itself. Instead, you observe whatever comes up in the present moment without judgment or evaluation. So you might notice that there are thoughts going through your mind; you might notice emotions arising; or physical sensations like pain. You may notice sounds coming from outside yourself or even inside yourself like stomach growls! (some people call this “monkey mind”). You may notice visual objects such as lights or shadows moving around — these are called “distractions” because they distract us from our true purpose of watching our experience without judgment or evaluation.

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