There is wrong concentration and right concentration. One can attain wrong jhanas with wrong view
Wrong concentration jhanas are brute forced with clinging to the elements and perceptions.
“He is absorbed dependent on earth… liquid… fire… wind… the sphere of the infinitude of space… the sphere of the infinitude of consciousness… the sphere of nothingness… the sphere of neither perception nor non-perception… this world… the next world… whatever is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, pondered by the intellect. That is how an unbroken colt of a man is absorbed.
This does not destroy fetters or lead to dispassion
The noble ariya right jhanas are different
He is absorbed dependent neither on earth, liquid, fire, wind, the sphere of the infinitude of space, the sphere of the infinitude of consciousness, the sphere of nothingness, the sphere of neither perception nor non-perception, this world, the next world, nor on whatever is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, or pondered by the intellect—and yet he is absorbed. And to this excellent thoroughbred of a man, absorbed in this way, the gods, together with Indra, the Brahmas, & Pajapati, pay homage even from afar
This is why the Buddha said Udakka and Alara’s jhanas do not lead to dispassion, because they’re dependent on perceptions, and not on turning away from perceptions.
This is why I don’t think it’s mindfulness of breathing, but mindfulness with breathing, aka maintaining mindfulness at the frequency of in and out breath. For example in other suttas, like the meditation of death sutta, the Buddha says you should be aware of death with each breath, so here breath is used as frequency, not an object.
For the Ariya, the object of meditation is always Anicca (Impermanence), hence death is Impermanence. The first noble truth is specifically about Impermanence. Suffering is dependent on Impermanence.
Sati means to remember. To remember the dhamma, specifically Impermanence. Always see the Impermanence in everything.
When you see that clinging or craving anything is futile because of impermanence, you will naturally become dispassionate and “absorbed without being dependent”.
Now this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of suffering:
- (Impermanence) = birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering
- (No control aka no-self) = union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering.
First noble truth = anicca, dukkha, anatta