In the book “Practicing the jhanas”, it is said that one should not simply “concentrate on the breath by feeling it” but that one should “concentrate on the breath knowing it”.
But I don’t understand what is the difference between the two. Indeed, I have the impression that when one concentrates strongly on feeling the breath, one is necessarily knowing the breath. I don’t see how one could “concentrate on the feeling of the breath” without “knowing the breath”.
This worries me because I may have misunderstood the practice.
The method taught in the book is that of Pa Auk.
Here are two excerpts from the book talking about meditation through the knowledge of the breath:
1/ FIRST EXTRACT : << Another method to develop concentrated awareness is to notice the length of the breath, long or short. This is not a mental evaluation but an aware knowing. It is also not “noting,” as in associating a word to the knowing. Simply, upon the in-breath, you know whether it is long or short. Upon the out-breath, you know whether it is long or short. As with counting, this can be dropped once concentration develops. >> ;
2/ SECOND EXTRACT : << We must remember that the actual instruction is to know the breath at the ānāpāna spot, not just to feel it. >>
My problem is that I feel that when we focus on feeling the breath, we are necessarily knowing the breath. So I don’t see what the book is getting at by saying that we need to “know the breath, not just feel it”.
Thanks in advance for your help.
For the sake of all beings.