SuttaCentral

Anapanasati Steps for WikiHow

I have just found out that WikiHow has a page for Anapanasati!

Unfortunately it is not so accurate in terms of the way the practice is described in the suttas.

It seems that, as it is a wiki, we could contribute to align it more with what we find in the powerful MN118.

Hence the idea behind this topic is to try to come up with a better EBT-aligned summary for how to practice anapanasati?

My suggestion is that we try to make is as a concise but instructive and inspiring as possible!

Anyone up for the challenge?! :grin:

2 Likes

the article can be edited by clicking on the pencil icon

1 Like

Thanks LXNDR

Now the question is, how to better summarise in a concise but instructive way at least a first glance of the practice of anapanasati?

Could we try to achieve this here before editing/changing what is in there?

I am not very familiar with the sutta, but I should be, so I think it would be a good experience.

Doing it here first would be a good idea actually.

1 Like

Ok, so let me try getting this started!

Albeit not going to the level of details found in the sutta I suggest keep the wikiHow steps as much as possible consistent with the 16 steps found in the four tetrad structure of suttas like the MN118 and SN54.13.

Also, it is very important to bring to people’s attention how these are equated or aligned with the powerful cultivation of the path factor of right mindfulness and of course the big picture development of the awakening factors.

First of all
Be a good person and consciously choose to and put effort in cultivating day after day, moment after moment, a clear understanding of the reality of suffering, its cause, the possibility of its cessation and the path to its cessation.

Then…
Find a quiet place where you can sit in any way possible to you (cross-legged, on a chair, on a cushion, etc) and get the mind inclined to the following:

Contemplation of the breathing as part of your experience of a body (Tetrad 1)

  1. Know, see and feel yourself breathing long
  2. Know, see and feel yourself breathing short
  3. Know, see, feel and experiencing the whole body or phenomena of respiration.
  4. Through knowing and seeing of how breathing takes place find a way to tranquilize it.

Contemplation of the breathing as part of your experience of feelings/sensation (Tetrad 2)
5. Notice and experience how a tranquilized breathing leads to a feeling of rapture
6. Notice and experience how feelings of rapture naturally leads further to feelings of bliss
7. Notice and experience to what extent has this whole exercise of stilling of the breathing affected your experience of mental activities (or phenomena).
8. Through knowing and seeing of how your experience of mental activities - i.e. thoughts and moods - is tranquilized, affected by the tranquility of body and blissfulness of feelings so far achieved, find a way and train the further calming of your mental activities / thoughts.

Contemplation of the breathing as an influencer to your experience of a mind (Tetrad 3)
9. Notice and experience how, once breathing is stilled and made blissful enough, your experience of mind becomes more proeminent than the coarser mental phenomena taking place in its sphere
10. Notice and experience how the mind grows more and more satisfied, gladdenened, by the level of stillness and peace so far achieved at your experience of body and feelings.
11. Notice and experience how the more gladdened the mind the more still it gets
12. Notice and experience how the more still the mind gets the freer, brighter it gets

Contemplation of the breathing as way to open your eyes to the way suffering ceases as its causes weakens (Tetrad 4)
13. Contemplate how as you advanced through the previous 12 steps your experience of existence got simpler, and how the simpler it got the happier and nicer it felt, thus making evident that the coarser our experience of existence the more exposed we are to the inherent and impermanence-driven stress and suffering
14. Contemplate how as you advanced through the previous 13 steps your experience of existence got less affected, less driven by lust and passion for the world of the senses, and how this very dispassion points us to an existence less and less exposed we are to the inherent and impermanence-driven stress and suffering.
15. Contemplate how the more mindfull of how all these things work out naturally and towards a happy simplicity, the more your heart gets inclined to putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world
16. Contemplate how the more your heart gets inclined to putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world the more it grows equanimous, firm and resolute on the challenge of realizing by yourself the four noble truths and fulfilling its ennobling tasks.

What do you think?

2 Likes

Hi, just a heads up, the WikiHow article has been slightly changed.

References to the Anapanasati Suttas of MN and SN had been added and the steps description made somehow more organic.

Please consider leaving your feedback there - positive or negative - as WikiHow team needs to see positive feedback in order to grow confident on usefulness of the changes made.