Discover the Dharma‎ > ‎Discourses‎ > ‎

The Discourse on Mindfulness of Breathing

The Discourse on Mindfulness of

Breathing

Anapanasati Sutta Page 1

 

            Mindfulness of Breathing, monks, cultivated and regularly practiced, is of great fruit and great benefit. Mindfulness of Breathing, cultivated and regularly practiced, brings to Perfection the four Foundations of Mindfulness. The four Foundations of Mindfulness, cultivated and regularly practiced, bring the seven Factors of Enlightenment to perfection; the seven Factors of Enlightenment, cultivated and regularly practiced, bring wisdom and deliverance to perfection. And how cultivated and regularly practiced, is Mindfulness of Breathing of great fruit and benefit? Herein, monks, a monk having gone to the forest, to the foot of a tree, or to an empty place, sits down cross-legged, keeps his body erect and his mindfulness alert. Just mindful he breathes in, mindful he breathes out.

 

I. The First Tetrad (Contemplation of the Body)

 

1. Breathing in a long breath, he knows, "I breathe in a long breath"; breathing out a long breath, he knows, "1 breathe out a long breath."

 

2. Breathing in a short breath, he knows, "I breathe in a short breath"; breathing out a short breath, he knows, "I breathe out a short breath."

 

3. "Experiencing the whole (breath-) body I shall breathe in," thus he trains himself; "Experiencing the whole (breath-) body I shall breathe out," thus he trains himself.

 

4. "Calming the bodily function (of breathing) I shall breathe in," thus he trains himself; "Calming the bodily function (of breathing) I shall breathe out," thus he trains himself.

 

II. The Second Tetrad (Contemplation of Feelings)

 

5. "Experiencing rapture I shall breathe in (I shall breathe out)," thus he trains himself.

 

6. "Experiencing happiness I shall breathe in (I shall breathe out)," thus he trains himself.

 

7. "Experiencing the mental functions I shall breathe in (I shall breathe out)," thus he trains himself.

 

8. "Calming the mental functions I shall breathe in (I shall breathe out)," thus he trains himself.

 

III. The Third Tetrad (Contemplation of the Mind)

 

9. "Experiencing the mind I shall breathe in (I shall breathe out)," thus he trains himself.

 

10. "Gladdening the mind I shall breathe in (I shall breathe out)," thus he trains himself.

 

11. "Concentrating the mind, I shall breathe in (I shall breathe out)," thus he trains himself.

 

12. "Liberating the mind I shall breathe in (I shall breathe out)," thus he trains himself.

 

 

IV. The Fourth Tetrad (Contemplation of Mind-objects)

 

13. "Contemplating impermanence I shall breathe in (I shall breathe out)," thus he trains himself.

 

14. "Contemplating dispassion I shall breathe in (I shall breathe out)," thus he trains himself.

 

15. "Contemplating cessation I shall breathe in (I shall breathe out)," thus he trains himself.

 

16. "Contemplating relinquishment I shall breathe in (I shall breathe out)," thus he trains himself.

 

17. In that way, cultivated and regularly practiced, monks, Mindfulness of Breathing brings great fruit and benefit.

 

Perfecting the Foundations of Mindfulness

            And how cultivated, how regularly practiced brings Mindfulness of Breathing the four Foundations of Mindfulness to perfection?

 

            I. Whenever a monk mindfully breathes in and out a long breath, or a short breath; or when he trains himself to breathe in and out while experiencing the bodily function (of breathing); or while calming that function-at that time, monks, he dwells practicing body-contemplation on the body, ardent, clearly comprehending, and mindful; having overcome covetousness and grief concerning the world. For, breathing in and out, monks, I say, is one of the bodily processes.

 

            II. Whenever the monk trains himself to breathe in and out while experiencing rapture; or while experiencing happiness; or while experiencing the mental functions; or while calming the mental functions-at those times, monks, he dwells practicing feeling-contemplation on feelings, ardent, clearly comprehending, and mindful, having overcome covetousness and grief concerning the world. For the full attention to breathing in and out, I say, is one of the feelings.

 

            III. Whenever a monk trains himself to breathe in and out while experiencing the mind; or while gladdening the mind; or while concentrating the mind; or while liberating the mind-at that time he dwells practicing mind-contemplation on the mind, ardent, clearly comprehending, and mindful, having overcome covetousness and grief concerning the world. For one who lacks mindfulness and clear comprehension, I say, cannot develop Mindfulness of Breathing.

 

            IV. Whenever a monk trains himself to breathe in and out while contemplating impermanence, dispassion, cessation, or relinquishment-at that time he dwells practicing mind-object contemplation on mind objects, ardent, clearly comprehending, and mindful, having overcome covetousness and grief concerning the world. Having wisely seen the abandoning of covetousness and grief, he looks on with perfect equanimity.

            Mindfulness of Breathing, monks, in that way cultivated and regularly practiced, brings the four Foundations of Mindfulness to perfection. And how do the four Foundations cultivated and regularly practiced, bring the seven Factors of Enlightenment to perfection?

            Whenever a monk dwells in the contemplation of body, feelings, mind, and mind-objects, ardent ... unclouded mindfulness becomes established in him. And when unclouded mindfulness is established in him, at that time the enlightenment-factor "Mindfulness" is initiated in the monk; at that time the monk develops the enlightenment-factor Mindfulness; at that time he gains perfection in the development of the enlightenment-factor "Mindfulness."

            Dwelling mindful in that manner, he wisely investigates, examines, and scrutinizes the respective object; and while doing so, the enlightenment-factor "Investigation of Reality" is initiated in the monk; at that time the monk develops the enlightenment-factor "Investigation of Reality"; at that time he gains perfection in the development of the enlightenment-factor "Investigation of Reality."

            While he wisely investigates, examines, and scrutinizes that object, unremitting energy is initiated in him. And when the unremitting factor "Energy" is initiated in him, at that time the monk develops the enlightenment-factor "Energy"; at that time he gains perfection in the development of the enlightenment factor "Energy."

            In him possessed of energy unworldly rapture arises. And when in a monk possessed of energy unworldly rapture arises, at that time the enlightenment factor "Rapture" is initiated in him; at that time the monk develops the enlightenment-factor "Rapture"; at that time the monk gains perfection in the development of the enlightenment-factor "Rapture."

            The body and mind of one who is filled with rapture become tranquil. And when the body and mind of one who is filled with rapture become tranquil, at that time the enlightenment-factor "Tranquility" is initiated in him; at that time the monk develops the enlightenment-factor "Tranquility."

            The mind of one who is tranquil and happy becomes concentrated. And when the mind of a monk who is tranquil and happy becomes concentrated, at that time the enlightenment-factor "Concentration" is initiated in him; at that time the monk develops the enlightenment-factor "Concentration"; at that time he gains perfection in the development of the enlightenment-factor "Concentration."

            On the mind thus concentrated he looks with perfect equanimity. And when looking on his concentrated mind with perfect equanimity, at that time the enlightenment factor "Equanimity" is initiated in him; at that time the monk develops the enlightenment factor "Equanimity"; at that time he gains perfection in the development of the enlightenment-factor "Equanimity ."

            The four Foundations of Mindfulness, in that way cultivated and regularly practiced, bring the seven Factors of Enlightenment to perfection. And how do the seven Factors of Enlightenment, cultivated and regularly practiced, bring wisdom and deliverance to perfection?

Herein, monks, a monk develops the enlightenment-factors Mindfulness, Investigation of Reality, Energy, Rapture, Tranquility, Concentration, and Equanimity, based on detachment, based on dispassion, based on cessation, resulting in relinquishment.

            The seven Factors of Enlightenment, in that way cultivated and regularly practiced, bring wisdom and deliverance to perfection. Thus spoke the Exalted One. Glad in heart the monks rejoiced in the words of the Blessed One.

 

Comments