At meditation centers in countries such as the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and Thailand, the first method of meditation is to focus on breathing (anapana), or breathing feels.
Concentrate on your nose, belly, etc., and constantly observe both when you breathe in and when you breathe out, and concentrate only on that. It can be said to be a meditation method for developing initial concentration.
Dispite the method of meditation is very simple, it can actually be very difficult for first-time meditators. This is because in our daily lives, how much concentration and awareness do we have in breathing, which is the most important thing for human beings, or an activity that can be said to be the essence of life, or how much breathing is the source of survival? Have you ever noticed something and watched it with the feeling of being truly grateful?
Therefore, when you try meditating on your own, you realize how difficult this practice of observing your breathing is.
I have also had the experience that the practical method of observing one’s own breathing is difficult. Thus, I realized that I needed to make some preparations before using this method.
In ancient India, 2,600 years ago, when Buddha aspired to become a ascetic, he underwent various austerities. It is the origin of those penances. In other words, if we consider deeply what the Buddha’s background was, perhaps during the time when Buddha was practicing Bodhisatta, there was a deep spiritual state in his mind, similar to that of yogis who meditate for the first time. Wasn’t it due to the earthly desires and the five obstacles I introduced earlier? I have come to this conclusion.
The method I recommend for meditation is to start by observing the activity in your own brain.
For example, what do you do when you want to drink chilled chai (Indian iced tea)?
You will probably create it using the following steps.
- 1 Add water and milk to a pot
- 2 Put the tea leaves into the pot
- 3 Place the pot on the gas stove
- 4 Boil for about 5-7 minutes
- 5 Stop the fire
- 6 Cool the pot
- 7 Cool in the refrigerator
Now, if you don’t follow steps 5 onwards, you won’t be able to drink cold chai forever.
This parable is by no means a funny story. Just like this analogy, if you want to practice meditation, you need to prepare before practicing meditation, and it is important to ”stop the fire and cool down”.
In other words, the “fire” is the “5 obstacles” that I explained earlier in the preparation. It is nothing but extinguishing the fire of attachment that obstructs the mind.
I apologize for the repetition, but please read this over and over again and always check it. It is important to clarify the difference between brain activity that impedes meditation and brain activity that is the object of meditation.
Posture is important when meditating.
- 1 Please sit on the floor.
- 2 Place your right leg on your left thigh.
- 3 Place your left leg on your right thigh.
- 4You just bends forward.
- 5 Stay in this position for a while and breathe.
- 6 Slowly raise your head, keeping your belly close to your legs.
- 7 Raise your head straight
- 8 Pull your shoulders back and puff out your chest.
- 9 Pull your chin
- 10 Place your hands on your knees or thighs.
- 11 Take two deep breaths.
Please check the seating comfort. If you don’t feel stable, you may want to use a cushion.
Meditation involves sitting in the same position for a long time, so poor posture can cause back pain and stiff shoulders. The numbness in your feet will gradually go away as you get used to it, but don’t tolerate it too much.
Ears and sounds
- 12 Close your eyes
- 13 Listen to the sounds around you for a while.
- 14 Please check that there is no noise.
- 15 Once you have become accustomed to the sounds around you, turn your attention towards the direction of the sound.
Please practice this “meditation of listening to sounds” for about 5 minutes at first. Depending on the time of day you meditate, there may be a lot of noise, so it is important to find a quiet time and place. Once you get used to it, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes, etc.
Please extend your time.
Don’t just sit there.
It is important to stay focused on the sound, even for a short period of time.
If you are distracted from concentrating on the sound and have a delusion, please write it down.
“I’ve never heard of meditation by listening to sound.”
Perhaps you feel that way. Or if you ask a yoga instructor, they’ll probably tell you, “There’s no such as any methods for meditation.”
However, this meditation method is actually included in the teachings of Buddha.
MN10 Satipatthana sutta